Newborns bring joys to families, but when that baby is only a pound their home and extended family is at the hospital.
The birth of a baby brings joy into a family's life, but when a baby is only a pound at birth their first home and extended family is at the hospital.
"It's not very often that people can say they have a job where they see a miracle every day," Dr. Mary Edelson said.
Dr. Mary Edelson is a baby's best friend in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Palmetto Health Baptist Hospital. The Shealy family can attest to that.
"The nurses and the physicians that we interacted with on a daily basis, they became like our family," Julie Shealy said.
Shealy and her husband were on their second pregnancy with twins, but after just 25 weeks Shealy gave birth to 1 lb. babies, Jackson and Judson.
Judson didn't live a full day.
"Jackson had many, many, many complications throughout the 6 months that he was here. On a ventilator for nearly four months, he had like 10 surgeries when he was in the NICU," Shealy said.
" Every organ system you can imagine was affected," Edelson said. "He had problems with his brain, problems with his lungs, problems feeding, problems with his belly."
Julie traveled back and forth from Chapin to visit Jackson in the NICU and after 6 months he went home.
"He's just a fighter and he just pulled through every time," Edelson said.
Now, Jackson is a healthy 5-year-old and back at the hospital to celebrate with other children like him at the NICU Spring Party.
"This is a family that would have been in a totally different situation had they lost their child. So to see them now with a healthy child there's really no words to describe it, it just makes everything we do worth while," Edelson said.
"Never thought we would get here. We've had lots of obstacles on the way and we still have obstacles to overcome, but it's amazing how quickly time has gone by, but without the love and support that started in the NICU he wouldn't be where he is," Shealy said.