Jodi developed preeclampsia at 26 weeks gestation with our youngest daughter, Charlie, and was immediately admitted to the hospital. After further evaluation and monitoring, the doctors felt it was best to schedule an emergency c-section. Charlie was immediately put on a ventilator and taken to the NICU at Virtua Hospital in Voorhees, New Jersey. Charlie was 1 pound, 1 ounce when she was born and spent the next 90 days in the NICU.
While the March of Dimes did not have a NICU Family Support program in our hospital, we soon realized how much of an impact the research funded by the March of Dimes played in Charlie’s delivery and growth while in the NICU. For example, Charlie received surfactant therapy, a treatment given to premature babies who face respiratory distress syndrome (RDS). This therapy was introduced in 1990 and was developed by March of Dimes grantees. Since then, deaths from RDS have been reduced by half.
Charlie is now a healthy, happy six year old who enjoys gymnastics, dancing and horseback riding. There are still so many unknowns surrounding prematurity and the research that the March of Dimes helps to support is so important in making advancements in the field.
We are so grateful and honored to be able to give back to an organization whose mission is inspired by all babies, those born healthy and those who need help to survive and thrive. While our story is a success, we know that had Charlie been born even 10 years ago, our family might not have been so lucky. We truly believe the NICU staff and research from the March of Dimes gave us the life of our daughter.