Posted: December 27, 2018

This fall at 33 weeks pregnant, Ashley Koebel arrived at Grand River Hospital (GRH) where she later gave birth to her son who was immediately transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for specialized care.

“It was my one year wedding anniversary when I was at home with my husband when my water broke. I was scared knowing that my baby was not due for another seven weeks and immediately headed to the hospital,” said Ashley.

Baby Deegan holding his mom's hand
Baby Deegan, born seven weeks premature and cared for in GRH's NICU

Ashley’s care team assessed her when she arrived at the hospital and tried to slow down her labour in order to give her medicine that would help her baby’s lungs develop after he was born.

Baby Deegan was born less than 24 hours later at seven weeks premature and just shy of five pounds. Although born prematurely for unknown reasons, baby Deegan is a perfectly healthy little boy.

“Although the birth experience wasn’t how I expected it to go, the staff in the NICU were really good. They were very knowledgeable and there for me when I needed them most,” said Ashley.

GRH’s NICU provides care for approximately 700 babies a year that need close monitoring due to prematurity or other health concerns.

Baby Deegan spent 21 days in the NICU with his mom and dad by his side. He is now at home getting bigger and stronger by the day.

“We love being home. Though it wasn't how we thought Deegan would come into the world, we are very happy that the NICU took such great care of him. We know we were lucky with how well he did from the start and are blessed that our stay though it felt long to us, was short compared to others,” said Ashley.

Thank you to the care providers in the NICU for your dedication in providing exceptional care to our littlest patients and giving them the best start on life.

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