|PHOTO: THE NEWSON FAMILY CELEBRATES WITH BABY MICHAEL AS THEY PREPARE TO HEAD HOME.
One of Edward Hospital’s tiniest and most resilient patients went home May 8, having survived a life-threatening premature birth.
On January 12, 2014, Michael Matthew Newson was born about 16 weeks early and weighed 1 pound, 8 ounces. A normal pregnancy lasts 40 weeks, but he was in his mother’s womb for only 23 weeks and five days.
The early birth came about because his mother, Lea Newson of Aurora, 42, had a condition called placental percreta, where the placenta attaches itself too firmly and grows through the uterus, sometimes extending to other internal organs.
The Newsons were keenly aware of Lea’s condition, which can cause bleeding during the third trimester and potentially severe hemorrhaging during delivery. It was discovered in her 12th week of pregnancy, and Lea was told by Dr. Jill Moran, a Perinatologist with Edward and DuPage Medical Group Maternal Fetal Medicine, that the situation could be life-threatening for her and her baby.
Because of the complication, Lea; her husband, Bryan Newson, 44, a software engineer, and their three older children, Nathaniel, 14; Nicholas, 11 and Maya, 7, were anticipating Michael’s birth at 34 weeks by a planned C-section.
When Lea began hemorrhaging after 11 p.m. on Saturday, January 11, the family rushed to Edward, where the Obstetrics Department activated a team of specialized doctors, surgeons and nurses which performed an emergency C-section to deliver Michael.
The team consisted of obstetricians Dr. Amy Stoeffler, DuPage Medical Group and Dr. Michele Carney, Naperville Women’s Health Care; Dr. Theresa Lee, General Surgeon, DuPage Medical Group; Dr. Mark Fisher, Urologist, DuPage Medical Group and Dr. Victor Hu, Interventional Radiologist, Naperville Radiologists.
Even though Lea’s C-section and follow-up surgery to stop her bleeding was a success, Michael’s fight was just beginning. The odds were stacked against him.
A baby born 16 weeks premature like Michael has less than a 20 percent chance of survival, said Dr. Michael Fitzgerald, Neonatologist with the Edward Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and DuPage Neonatology Associates.
“Michael’s parents saved his life by not even thinking twice about getting to the hospital” when the hemorrhaging began, Dr. Fitzgerald said. “Edward’s Level III NICU and Obstetrical Service is the highest level that can be designated by the state of Illinois.”
For the NICU, that means Edward can treat the sickest and most fragile newborns, which included Michael. A NICU team, led by Dr. Rajeev Dixit, a Neonatologist with Edward’s NICU and DuPage Neonatology Associates, began caring for Michael immediately after his delivery.
“It was very scary. At the time, we didn’t know if Michael would survive,” Lea said.
“We got here and everybody was just lining up. It was amazing,” Bryan said. “This facility has been incredible.”
Cared for by the NICU team of nurses, physicians and therapists, including Mary Ann Nelson, RN, Michael grew five inches in the hospital and went home after nearly four months in intensive care – just in time for Mother’s Day – weighing 5 pounds, 15 ounces. The baby’s development appears to be on track, according to Dr. Fitzgerald.
Edward’s NICU, which opened 22 private patient rooms in January 2013, features space, comfort and privacy for treatment and consultation with doctors and nurses. The unit includes two sets of adjoining rooms that can accommodate twins, so parents can be near their babies. One larger room can accommodate triplets.
NICU families also have access to the Ronald McDonald Family Room, the first of its kind in Illinois, a place for parents to rest and regroup when they're at Edward with their sick children. The room has a living room, relaxation areas, kitchen, two computer stations with Internet access, two sleeping rooms, showers and a playroom for patients and siblings.