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Annual NICU Reunion Planned at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital|
ARLINGTON, Texas — Annie Wooten-Ortega gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on November 9, 2011; but five weeks prior, Ortega tragically lost the baby’s twin brother.
“It was heartbreaking. Normally when one twin dies during delivery, the other usually follows. I had a totally different outcome, praise God,” Ortega said. After losing her first twin at 19 weeks, Ortega went into labor a second time — at just 24 weeks and five days. Weighing only 1 pound and 5 ounces, baby girl Taylor entered the world.
Her daughter’s birth brings with it bittersweet memories.
“It was scary. During the delivery, I coded and lost more than 50 percent of my blood volume,” Ortega said. “Thanks to the excellent care and compassion of those at Texas Health Arlington Memorial, I made it through, and so did my baby girl.”
The high-risk pregnancy and birth left Taylor in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for nearly four months.
“We definitely had our ups and downs, but my husband and I came to see her every day,” said Ortega. “I just prayed and kept my faith in God, like I always have. I knew she was going to make it.”
Ortega and other parents who have had similar experiences will gather to share stories when Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital hosts its annual NICU reunion Sunday, Sept. 16, from 2 to 4 p.m. For the past 28 years, the hospital’s NICU has organized the reunion to provide parents with an opportunity to share the progress their children have made and thank those who supported them on their journey.
Taylor, now 10 months old and close to 20 pounds, is a living testimony, according to her mother.
“She is such a joy — she’s my God-given angel here on earth,” Ortega said. “I can’t wait to see the other families and the Texas Health Arlington Memorial nurses and staff. What they do is truly amazing.”
Despite losing one child and nearly losing her own life during delivery, Ortega remains thankful. “I don’t know what God’s reason is for everything that I went through, but He left me with such a beautiful angel,” she said.
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