Hospital Staff Come Together In Celebration Of Preemie Who Gets To Go Home After Fighting For His Life For 2 Years
January 28, 2019 18:30 By Mambee
Nothing is more nervewracking than having a baby and not knowing if the child will ever come home with you. That was what these parents faced for several months. Fortunately, their story had a happy ending.
Jacob was born at the Medical City Dallas on March 8, 2017. Even before his birth, his parents knew that their baby's survival would be an uphill climb.
During an ultrasound, Olga Rodriguez was told that something was very wrong with the baby. He had a birth defect known as omphalocele, which meant his intestines, liver, and parts of his stomach were outside of his body.
Olga and her husband had tried for years to get pregnant so this news was understandably devastating. The couple was told that the child could even die before he was born. "It's a gut-wrenching feeling," Olga told WFAA.
Luckily, Jacob survived and was born at 32 weeks of gestation. This was, however, only the beginning of the fight. The baby, who weighed just two pounds 14 ounces, had underdeveloped lungs.
In addition to that, he would need to be in the hospital for months until he could grow the extra skin that would be used to cover his abdomen.
As it turned out, Jacob had to stay in the hospital for 22 months, which happened to be the longest anyone could remember a preemie baby having to stay at Medical City Dallas before they could go home.
When the big day finally came, the nurses at the pediatric unit and the NICU at the hospital sent Jacob home in style. They all came together in the hallway with balloons and bubbles to celebrate the amazing moment Jacob got to go home after being in the hospital for nearly two years, 685 days to be exact.
Olga is more than ready for Jacob to experience life outside the hospital.
I'm just ready for him to see the world I want him to experience that. It's a new chapter. It's a new chapter in this book of life. And I think that is one of the biggest things. I just want him to see and experience things like a normal child.
NICU case manager Debra Pangborn described it as a "really good day" as she expressed how proud she was of Jacob and his family.
Jacob sure is a strong fighter and he deserves to see what life is really like outside the hospital. Here's hoping he continues to grow and thrive!