Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 32

VITALS / THRIVING
A breath of fresh air
A baby born at 26 weeks overcomes a severe lung condition
and is thriving at home.
comprehensive pulmonary rehabilitation and post-acute
neonatal care. " The NICU nurses instilled in us that life
was going to start once we got to Blythedale, " says Vasquez.
" 'They're going to give you the tools that you need to
take your child home.' "
At Blythedale Children's Hospital, where more than a
third of the patients are admitted for intensive pulmonary
rehabilitation, there is an entire clinical care team dedicated
to helping children breathe. When River arrived, his end
tidal carbon dioxide (ETCO2) levels were in the 100s, more
than double the normal range of 35 to 45. And his positive
end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) was at 14, almost three
times the normal number.
River's respiratory therapists, medical team and
River, born at 26 weeeks with bronchopulmonary dysplasia, is at home
breathing on his own thanks to support from Blythedale Children's.
A
na Rivera found out she was pregnant on Halloween in
2020. She and her partner, Diana Vasquez, started preparing
for the next chapter in their lives and
their new arrival. However, at just 26 weeks'
gestation, River Omari Rivera was born weighing
a mere 2.2 lbs. and measuring just 14 inches
long. Rivera and Vasquez found that he barely
fit in their hands, comparing him to the size of a
water bottle. They were afraid to touch him for
fear of hurting him.
As a micro-preemie, River was diagnosed with severe
rehabilitation therapists helped him continue to grow. Each
day, River would receive comprehensive therapies, including
physical, occupational, speech and feeding therapies, as
well as developmental support to help him reach important
milestones. " It made me feel comfortable to watch the
therapists and teachers work with River. To watch them,
it took the fear of the tubing away, " says Vasquez. " We
realized he can do everything a regular child does, he just
has an extra attachment. "
Through Blythedale Children's comprehensive Parent
" WE╩╝RE HOME AND
CAN FINALLY BE A
FAMILY AS ONE. "
bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and he required mechanical
ventilation to breathe. " The way it was explained to us was
that he could not open and close his lungs, " says Vasquez.
" Normally, in kids with his condition, they don't survive, and
they were trying to give us the reality of our circumstance. "
After seven months in the NICU, River was admitted to
Blythedale Children's Hospital
in Valhalla, New York, for
and Family Education Program, Rivera and Vasquez learned
how to care for River in the new simulation lab, composed
of high-tech spaces that replicate bedside and home
environments where parents can learn how to care for
their medically fragile child in a supportive,
controlled environment in preparation of their
discharge home. They also trained with a Parent
and Family Education coordinator to learn
how to change River's gastrostomy and
tracheostomy tubes, and how to set up their
own at home. On September 8, at about one and
a half years old, River was discharged home,
breathing on his own, requiring supplemental oxygen only
at night. " It's still a journey, " says Rivera. " But we're home and
we can be a family as one. "
The original version of this story was published by Blythedale
Children's Hospital at blythedale.org.
Tell us an amazing patient story. Email magazine@childrenshospitals.org.
32
CHILDREN'S HOSPITALS TODAY Spring 2023
http://www.blythedale.org

Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023

Contents
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - Cover1
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - Cover2
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - Contents
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 2
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 3
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 4
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 5
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 6
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 7
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 8
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 9
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 10
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 11
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 12
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 13
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 14
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 15
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 16
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 17
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 18
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 19
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 20
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 21
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 22
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 23
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 24
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 25
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 26
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 27
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 28
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 29
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 30
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 31
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - 32
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - Cover3
Children's Hospitals Today - Spring 2023 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_fall_2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_summer_2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_spring_2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_winter_2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_fall_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_summer_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_spring_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_winter_2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_fall_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2018spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2018winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2017fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2017summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2017spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2017winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2016fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2016summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2016spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2016winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2015fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2015summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2015spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2015winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2014fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2014summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2014spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/cha/cht_2014winter
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com