Every day is a chance to get better. This phrase sits on 18-year-old Abbie Glozier’s Facebook timeline, but it has much deeper meaning to her and her family than a simple social media post.
Nearly two decades ago, Regional One Health’s NICU team welcomed first-born Abbie into the world. She weighed just a smidge more than 1 pound.
Soon after, sister Allie entered the world, weighing less than a pound and fighting back against bleeding on her brain.
But delivery for mom Diana wasn’t yet finished. Little brother Caleb joined his sisters five days later – the largest baby of all three and the one who stayed in the womb the longest, yet still weighing in at just 1 pound, 2 ounces at his birth.
Already facing an emergency situation, Diana’s labor began at just 22 weeks – four and a half months too soon for a full-term pregnancy. She was rushed to Regional One Health’s Sheldon B. Korones Newborn Center, where the doctors and nurses didn’t miss a second to begin emergency care for these precious, fragile babies.
The staff temporarily stopped Diana’s labor to try to give the babies more time, but ultimately, the infants couldn’t wait. Allie and Abbie had an infection and had to be delivered at 23 weeks as a life-saving measure.
Abbie faced significant stress in the birth canal. She lingered there for several days before Diana was able to greet her first-born for the first time. Her sister’s hemorrhaging brain tissue indicated with near certainty that she would develop cerebral palsy. The NICU team had doubts the girls were even going to live.
Caleb stayed as long as he could in his separate amniotic sac, but it wasn’t long enough to avoid complications associated with premature birth. He was born with impaired vision and had to be connected to a ventilator to help him breathe.
These tiny, very-low-birth-weight triplets faced significant medical hurdles – the likes of which take personal resolve and a gifted team of NICU experts to overcome.
“We started out every day for five and a half months thinking it was miraculous to keep them alive,” Diana says. “My babies would just about die every day.”
Today, Abbie has a job and drives a car. She took a college class after graduating from high school.
Despite Allie’s incredibly scary start and a series of developmental delays, she now drives a car and has a 3.8 GPA. Over the years, every time a small developmental delay would arise, Allie, her parents and her doctors proactively addressed it. Allie beat many odds. “We’ve overcome a ton of issues,” her mom proudly says.
Though now legally blind, Caleb has earned 26 merit badges with his Boy Scout troop. The one he’s most proud of is the badge earned for co-piloting an airplane. He became an Eagle Scout at age 17 and is also involved in the high school’s Jr. ROTC program.
Diana feels eternally grateful for the life-saving care her babies received at Regional One Health’s NICU. “I can sing praises of everyone on the NICU team,” she offers. “They all knew what they were doing. I would spend eight to 10 hours in the NICU every day. By being at the bedside that much I saw firsthand how they respond to crises day after day.”
She has special praise for Jean Brooks, a NICU nurse with 50 years of experience at Regional One Health. Diana developed a bond with Jean that has only strengthened over the past 18 years. Jean sends Christmas and birthday presents every year to the triplets.
“It’s pretty significant what she does,” Diana says. “I told one of my friends about her, and my friend thinks she’s possibly an angel in disguise.”
The lifesaving work that happens every day at the Sheldon B. Korones Newborn Center has significantly contributed to the decline in Shelby County’s infant mortality rate. Support from generous donors helps making that possible by providing advanced medical training and specialized equipment that help keep alive our frailest and most-vulnerable community members – tiny babies born too soon and born under severe duress.
To support the Regional One Health NICU miracle workers, contact the Regional One Health Foundation at 901-545-6006 or donate.regionalonehealthfoundation.org or to read our full annual report, click Regional One Health Foundation Annual Report.