Youngest-born Surviving Infant at Bryan Health Discharged From Hospital
LINCOLN, Neb. (Press Release) - Last month, the neonatal intensive care unit at Bryan Health cared for and discharged home the youngest-born surviving patient in the hospital’s history.
Megan Phipps and her boyfriend, Dillon, were pregnant with twins. Based on her two previous births, the couple was expecting a normal course of care and mid-October due date. However, their journey would turn out to be extraordinary.
Early on, Megan felt different than she had with other pregnancies. After visits with doctors and specialists, she was diagnosed with uterine didelphys. It’s a rare condition in which a woman grows two uteruses instead of one. Megan conceived a baby in both her right and left uterus.
Just over five months into her pregnancy, Megan went into pre-term labor. Doctors attempted to slow down and stop her progress, but were unsuccessful. On Saturday, June 12, baby Reece was born at 22.5 weeks gestation. She was delivered over three months premature and weighed about one pound. Reece’s twin sister, Riley, was born the day before. Sadly, she didn’t survive and passed away 12 days after she was delivered.
The NICU team at Bryan Health worked to provide expert and specialized care for Reece. She received almost a dozen blood transfusions, a central line for one month and was on a ventilator for 45 days. Often times, infants born so premature deal with serious medical issues involving the brain and lungs. However, Reese progressed slowly and did not have any major complications.
On Tuesday, November 2, Reece was discharged home. She weighed a healthy 8 pounds, 5 ounces. Reece spent 144 days in the NICU at Bryan, the longest NICU stay in hospital history. Above her crib for most of that time was an ornament of a baby in angel wings. It held her big sister’s ashes. Riley was caring for Reece from above during her time in the hospital.
The care of baby Reece has been recognized on a large scale. According to the Tiniest Babies Registry at the University of Iowa, Reece is the 26th baby worldwide to be born before 23 weeks’ gestation and survive. Additionally, the NICU at Bryan Health is just the seventh facility in the United States to discharge a baby born under 23 weeks’ gestation. The Tiniest Babies Registry at the University of Iowa is an electronic registry that documents the survival of the smallest babies in the world.
The NICU at Bryan Health opened in 2008. It’s a Level III facility and is led by a board-certified neonatologist, neonatal nurse practitioners and a highly-trained multidisciplinary staff from nursing, radiology, respiratory therapy, anesthesia and more. The team has cared for nearly 500 babies and their families just this year.
Story courtesy Brad Colee with Bryan Health.