Nearly 16 years ago, a little baby boy was born to a family who thought they would have more time. For Aidan’s mom, a high blood pressure reading led to being diagnosed with HELLP syndrome – a life-threatening condition that required the immediate delivery of her son, Aidan, at just 28 weeks.
Aidan weighed just 1 lb. 8 oz. at birth and, with his family by his side, spent 105 days in the EvergreenHealth Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
“For the first few weeks I was really aware that he was the sickest baby there. He stayed on a ventilator for the first seven weeks of his life and had a really hard time coming off of it. But for as bad as it was, EvergreenHealth’s NICU gave us a space to be a family. Families in the NICU each had their own private room and a quiet environment that helped Aidan’s development and my own peace of mind. And as Aidan grew, our family bonded with the nurses who were so invested in us and our well-being. Even though it wasn’t their job, they were taking care of me too.”
When Aidan’s parents were finally able to bring him home, they dealt with the trauma of their son’s health crisis and the worry they felt about his prematurity lasted long past their stay.
“In those early days, you guard yourself against having too many hopes and dreams for him. If you had told me that first week in the NICU that I’d be looking at the kid he is today, I would have snatched it.”
Aidan will start his sophomore year of high school just a few days after his 16th birthday. He towers over his mom. He snowboards and plays tennis. He’s a writer. He’s in drama. He’s funny and engaging. He’s got a knowledge of history and an understanding of the world that shines through in his conversations. He’s everything to his parents…so much more than they ever dared to dream.
As Aidan’s mom reflects on her family’s story, it’s this message that she hopes others will remember:
“I had no reason to suspect I would have a problematic pregnancy. I never would have guessed we would have needed the care we received at EvergreenHealth, but we did. And you never know when someone you really love will have a baby arriving way too soon. To have world class care, in every way possible, and to be so near to home – it made all the difference.”
You can be part of providing care for our future…care for the next generation of babies who, like Aidan once did, need life-saving treatment and an environment that gives them the best possible chance to reach their fullest potential.
By joining the Care for Our Future campaign, you are honoring the beginning of your child’s life and all that they will grow to be, saying “thank you” to the healthcare team who was with you during your family’s most precious moments, and giving back to the next generation of families in our community.