On August 7, 2006, our family experienced the premature birth of Andrea Grace. Andrea was born at 28 weeks gestation with a birth weight of 1lb 6oz due to maternal HELLP syndrome. During her stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Andrea was on a ventilator for 14 days, CPAP for 20 days, and on oxygen by cannula for another two months. She received regular tube feedings, three blood transfusions, and two weeks of IV antibiotics. After 70 long days in the NICU, Andrea was allowed to come home on October 16, 2006. Though on oxygen and an apnea monitor, the day we had long waited for had finally come.
Today, Andrea is a happy and healthy kindergartener. She has very few lasting physical effects of prematurity. We are thankful for this outcome, but always aware that things could have been much different, if not for the efforts of the March of Dimes and those walkers who have gone before us.
Every year, half a million babies in the U.S. are born prematurely. Premature birth affects 1 in every 8 babies, and is the leading cause of newborn death and many life long disabilities. The money we raise helps fund research to find out why premature birth happens and what can be done to prevent it. In turn, the research will work to save babies'' lives. We would love to have you join us in this important endeavor. Simply sign up from this page.
Our experience with Andrea in the NICU was a very difficult and emotional time. This is why we walk - that in the future, no family will have to feel the uncertainty and fear that comes with premature birth.
Please help by joining our team or donating today!
Chris, Barb, Andrea, and Aiden
The mission of March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.