After 118 days in the NICU, Kiran progressed magnificently and made it home

Dana Dougan, Kiran's mom

August 21, 2016 is a day that is etched into my mind forever. I had no idea of the journey I was about to embark on when my son, Kiran, was born suddenly at 23 weeks gestation. He came into the world fighting for his life at only one pound six ounces and eleven inches long. Bronson’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) would become a familiar second home to us for the next 118 days.

Due to his extreme prematurity, Kiran endured many procedures during his four-month stay. His tiny body struggled to survive, and his lungs were weak and fragile. He was on a ventilator for four weeks, eventually graduated to c-pap and then nasal cannula. He fought chronic lung disease, sepsis, suffered a grade two brain bleed, multiple blood transfusions and much more. Cranial ultrasounds, intubations, feeding tubes, heel sticks, lumbar punctures, shots, IVs, etc… became regular procedures.

Daily routines included kangaroo care, care times, physical therapy, music therapy, baths and reading books. I pumped every three hours day and night and continued to pump for an entire year. Kiran was eventually able to nurse, which was impressive for a 23 weeker. I met some of the most caring and talented people during this experience, and I am forever blessed and grateful for the wonderful and supportive doctors and nurses at Bronson.

Despite all the complications and challenges, Kiran progressed magnificently and made it home after 118 days in the NICU, just in time for Christmas in December 2016. He is a happy, healthy, smart, outgoing 2 year old who is full of energy and curiosity. He is currently in Early On, and recently finished speech therapy and OT for sensory work. Kiran participates in a weekly playgroup and will be starting preschool in the fall! Despite expectations for 23 weekers, Kiran has never had any surgeries and has excellent vision and hearing. His lungs are much healthier and he no longer requires a handful of specialists. The early prognosis for micro-preemies is scary, but Kiran is proof that 23 weeker can beat the odds. I never knew my son would survive, let alone thrive as the intelligent, strong and beautiful boy that he is. His energy lights up the room and I am reminded every day of what a miracle looks like.


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