Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital Hosts 27th Reunion for NICU Babies, Caregivers|
ARLINGTON, Texas — Ramona Antillon believes it’s a miracle her 10-year-old daughter Ashleigh is alive and healthy today. Born at 23 weeks gestation weighing one pound, five ounces, Ashleigh was given only a 20 percent chance of living.
“It was an extremely stressful time for us, we didn’t know what to expect,” Antillon said. “But we knew she was in the best place she could possibly be.”
Babies born prematurely, like Ashleigh, make up about 12 percent of all live births in the city of Arlington, according to the March of Dimes. They also require specialized care in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). For nearly four months, Ashleigh stayed in the NICU at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital growing and healing under the supervision of doctors and nurses.
Now, 10 years later, she will be reunited with her caregivers at the hospital’s 27th annual NICU reunion on Sept. 22 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the south atrium of the hospital. Two hundred guests are expected for this year’s celebration, which will include games, activities and refreshments.
“It’s very rewarding for our staff to see these children looking healthy and happy year after year,” said Mary Carrizalez, manager of the hospital’s NICU.
For Antillon, it’s also a time to share stories with other parents and celebrate life.
“I just want other parents of premature babies to hear my story and have hope,” she said. “It’s hard, but you have to keep on believing that through God all things are possible.”
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