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Westley NICU Donation

Ashley Vincent ended up in the hospital when her baby was just 27 weeks and 3 days. It turns out she had pretty severe preeclampsia.  Hurley doctors said Westley had to be delivered immediately to give him and mom a chance at survival. “He was one pound 11 ounces when he was born, 11 3/4 inches, so not quite as long as a ruler, says Ashley.  “It was the scariest thing I’ve ever seen and he was the smallest thing I’ve ever seen. I never thought in a million years that I would be in this situation.”

It was a long summer for the Vincents. Westley spent 73 days in the Hurley NICU.  Ashley says, “We had so many of the best nurses but the most memorable for me was Laura Hatfield. She spent a lot of days with me. Then at night I had a nurse named Bridgett who would take care of Westley for me. She would make his one month and two month hand prints and foot prints and that was the best thing ever.” Hurley NICU assistant nurse manager Terra Garrett says Hurley strives to create a family environment with the medicine care team and involving the parents.

After 73 days, Westley was ready to surprise his 3 brothers. He came home the day they went back to school. When they got off the bus, they thought their mom was holding a new pet, but when they got closer they saw it was Westley. They cheered, washed their hands and asked to hold him. Westley is now crawling, walking along the couch and trying to keep up with the boys.

“He’s starting to say momma and dadda,”says Ashley. “Everything is going to great. I can’t believe how good he’s doing.” Feeling blessed, Ashley wants to give back. She decided to make inspirational onesies for other NICU babies at Hurley Children’s Hospital. She made 73 bodysuits with sayings like #Preemiestrong, Rocking the NICU Like a Boss and I May Look Small But I Dream Big. The 73 onesies represent the 73 days Westley spent in the NICU. The Vincents hope the donation will inspire families to have faith and to also give back. Ashley says, “I think my most favorite one is My Super Heroes Wear Scrubs because they really were, all of the doctors and nurses,  super heroes to us because they took something I didn’t even think could be saved and brought him home to me.” Terra Garrett says babies didn’t use to wear clothing in the NICU but can now with special washings. She believes the onesies will help parents see their NICU patients as babies and the donations will bring even better results to the unit, which is already so successful.  “We definitely exceed expectations and provide care that no one else can around here, ” says Garrett.