Home for the Holidays – in Neonatal Intensive Care

Many people have asked me if the children in our holiday commercial will all be home for the holidays. The unfortunate answer is no. For many of them the holidays will include trips for Chemotherapy, Dialysis, and in the case of the Miller family, celebrating their baby’s first Christmas in the hospital.

Decorating for the holidays means something different this year for Cassidy Miller as she puts up twinkle lights and Christmas tree Cuts-outs in her baby’s room here on the Neonatal Intensive Care unit at Nationwide Children’s.   This room has been her home since just after the September 4th delivery of her son, Hunter.

Hunter was delivered on September 4th by emergency c-section more than three months before his scheduled due date and then immediately transferred here for open heart surgery.  He weighed just 2 lbs. 6 oz. at birth and has faced many challenges; most significantly breathing problems associated with his prematurity. Now three months old, Hunter has been making steady progress and today is tipping the scales at just over five pounds!  Although still dependent on a ventilator for breathing and a feeding tube for nutrition, everyone is hoping that Hunter will have his first trip “home” in early 2012.

Going through this experience has been especially challenging for the Miller Family as Hunter’s dad, Dewey was deployed through the Army National Guard just two months after Hunter’s birth.  Cassidy has been staying in touch with Dewey through regular calls but she says the weeks have felt like months with him away.

Hunter will spend his first Christmas in the hospital with extended family traveling to Columbus to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with him and Cassidy.  Unfortunately Dewey will be away for Christmas but everyone is excited that a special pass will bring him home for three days around New Year’s Eve.

I know you join me in sending best wishes to our families spending all or part of their holidays at the hospital.  If you’d like to send a greeting card to Hunter’s family you can visit our E-card site and send them a special message.


PS – You will also see Hunter as the star of our latest Every Gift Matter’s message running this Sunday in the Columbus Dispatch.


Donna Teach
Donna Teach is Chief Marketing & Communication Officer at Nationwide Children's. Her job is to help the hospital feel "connected" – Connected to each other, connected to our patients and their families, referring physicians, the community and the world.

4 thoughts on “Home for the Holidays – in Neonatal Intensive Care

  1. Our grandson spent his first 7 months at Childrens, being born 4 months early. He is our little miracle. We endured alot of ups and downs along the way, but one thing we always held onto was our Faith, and Hope. The staff at Childrens was nothing short of amazing, and we will always hold them in our hearts and Prayers. Deagan spent his first Christmas in Childrens as well, and although we witnessed another family we had grown close to lose their child at the age of 2, we feel that it was for Deagans best, because he is now a normal, healthy two year old. We are so excited to be celebrating as a family this year, and remembering our many blessings. God Bless you and Your family and we will keep you and your son in our prayers.

  2. God Bless you all…..My daughter spend 367 days in the “old” NICU in 04-05. I know how difficult spending the holidays is there, but please know there are many staff, volunteers, and people like me thinking and praying for you all. The staff in the NICU will take care of your every need and you will look back on this day in many years and reflect on how special this upcoming holiday really is…..you have a miracle on your hands. God Bless. Love, Tammy and Kristin

  3. I’ve so been where you are. 22wk preemie 1.0lb and also a patient of Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH. Regardless of the trails you may go through you are blessed and have been blessed with a precious life. Your both survivors and stronger than you could ever imagine. Stay strong and be blessed.

    Casey Bell

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