NICU graduate nears anniversary of coming home

2013-05-01 13:56:30 by LilDougJonesFamily, as posted on the inside.akronchildrens.org blog.

Douglas Jones, Jr., also known as Lil Doug, was born at 28 weeks and spent almost 2 months in the NICU before he came home. Unfortunately he had reflux that was not apparent to the  nurses, doctors or us, his parents (Tiffiney and Doug) while in the NICU. That resulted in an episode less than 48 hours after coming home in which he stopped breathing. His mommy was able to resolve this episode with makeshift CPR. Then he had to be life-flighted back to Akron from Mansfield.

The only comfort we had that early morning of Jan. 17, 2010, was knowing that he was going to get the best possible care. On March 30, 2010, Lil Doug was cleared to come home on oxygen and with a heart monitor. We are so thankful for Akron Childrens NICU and the Reinberger Center.

There was so much stress in our lives having to be an hour away and only being able to visit once or twice a week. We wish we had a million dollars to donate. It's approaching one year that Lil Doug left the NICU so we felt it appropriate to make contact and let everyone know how well he is doing. He is viewable in action at youtube.com/imurdauhaters and there are videos ranging from his NICU stay up until a few days ago so you can really see his development. The oxygen was no longer necessary in June, the heart monitor was gone in May, and his G-tube was removed and surgically sewn shut in August.

Lil Doug is determined to do whatever it is he wants and isn't letting his premature birth stop him. He is very close to walking, has a mischievous laugh when chasing our cat, loves game shows and overall is just happy as can be.

We recommend parents of NICU babies learn infant CPR just as insurance. We learned it after Lil Doug's incident and never had to use it (again) but it's good to know it. Also parents should be optimistic as conditions can improve even though it may seem like it's never going to happen. We thought Lil Doug would have breathing and eating issues for years but it only lasted a few months.

Tiffiney and I want to thank the professional caregivers because they truly are pros at caring.

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