A Message of Hope for Hoag NICU Parents
Dan and Gina Coury have always fought for their children, even before they were born. When doctors told Gina she would have to deliver her twin boys — Noah and Logan — at just 23 weeks, she didn’t let that happen. She fought to wait as long as possible and gave birth to her twins two weeks later at 25 weeks and 5 days into her pregnancy. Those extra days that she kept her babies with her made a difference -- and she didn’t stop there.
For 11 weeks, Dan and Gina spent countless hours in the Hoag Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) supporting their babies in any ways they could while Noah and Logan received the medical care they needed to grow strong and come home. Today, they have two beautiful thriving toddlers.
Dan and Gina also needed support during their NICU journey. They found it through their loved ones and Hoag’s dedicated medical staff. One of the unique ways Hoag supports parents with children in the NICU is by allowing them to choose the primary nurse that will be at their babies’ sides throughout this journey. “I think it's very important, because they become family and there is a sense of ease when you have the same nurse,” Dan said. Knowing that their nurse understood their babies’ needs and would be caring for them and getting to know them brought Dan and Gina comfort during such a challenging time. “You feel a little helpless. So when you do have a say of which nurses take care of your baby, you have a connection with them and you know that they're emotionally connected as well to you and your baby, it takes a lot of the stress off,” Dan said. The Coury family grew close to their primary nurse and found she provided them with care and comfort as well. “You end up becoming friends and just talking about everything else to keep your mind off of it. You know they love your baby and love you, so I think that's very important too,” Dan said.
One support program that Gina highly recommends parents with children in the NICU take advantage of is the opportunity to meet past Hoag NICU patients and their parents. Gina met with a mother and her teenage son who had been born very prematurely when he came back to visit the NICU many years later. “That was such a relief. I cried when I saw him, he was so tall and so handsome and a great looking kid. And just to see that can be me, that can be my child, that stuck with me,” Gina shared.
Today with two thriving children, the Coury family has generously gifted the Noah and Logan Coury NICU Excellence Fund to help support families like them. They hope to bring Noah and Logan back one day to visit and spread some hope to Hoag families.
Hope made a difference to the Coury family during their time at Hoag and they want to share some words of encouragement with other parents who may be feeling as scared as they did. “You're going to be faced with challenges. It's going to be one of the hardest challenges of your entire life but you just got to understand your babies are resilient and there is hope. Stick in there and be there for them every single step of the way,” Dan said.