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.