Grateful Family Spotlight: Baby Tygo Graduates from Hoag’s NICU
At 24 weeks and five days pregnant, Sasha was rushed into an emergency C-section after arriving at Hoag’s obstetric emergency room with severe cramping, spotting and nausea. She had suffered a uterine rupture, quite rare among women in their first pregnancy. Baby Tygo, sac still intact, was
in his mother’s abdomen. Once Tygo was safely delivered, Sasha underwent a hysterectomy due to extensive internal bleeding.
When she woke up from surgery, baby Tygo, just one pound six ounces, was in the NICU. Sasha and her husband Derrick could visit but they couldn’t touch him at first. Despite the tremendous difficulty the couple faced in those first few days, they quickly grew to love and trust Hoag’s team of neonatologists and NICU nurses, led by Dr. Vladana Milisavljevic, Al & Mary Ann Schoellerman Endowed Chair in Neonatology and chief of neonatal services at Hoag.
“Dr. M made us feel comfortable right away. We knew that I was in good hands and that Tygo was in good hands. She bonded with him immediately—she called him her ‘boyfriend’—and she was so intuitive. She knew instinctively when he needed to come off oxygen, that he was ready to breathe on his own. She called in on her days off to check on him,” said Sasha.
Thanks to philanthropic support, Sasha also had access to Hoag’s Maternal Mental Health Program, which she called lifesaving. “My therapist has been with me the whole way through this. She still is. I couldn’t have done it without her.”
“When babies in the NICU are going through such a difficult time, we also have to keep in mind what their families are going through and provide support. At Hoag, we have a multidisciplinary team made up of neonatologists, NICU nurses, respiratory therapists, dietitians, physical therapists, social workers and more, all rallying around these families. Tygo is a perfect example of how love and support from both family and caregivers can make miracles happen. It was a privilege to be a part of his beginning, as it is for all the babies we take care of during the most challenging time in their lives and in their family’s lives,” said Dr. Milisavljevic.
After 96 days in the NICU, Tygo had advanced so well that he was able to go home with his parents before his original due date. The NICU nurses, for whom Sasha and Derrick are extremely thankful, planned a graduation ceremony for Tygo, complete with music, a graduation certificate and a commemorative cap and gown. Tygo’s growth and development during his time in Hoag’s NICU were celebrated by all.
Sasha said, “I can’t even convey the depth of gratitude I have for Dr. M and our NICU nurses, McKenna, Brenda, Jason and Tiffany. They were all so wonderful and cared so well for Tygo.”
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