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A little fighter makes it home.

Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel | Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Children's

On May 15, 2011, my world turned upside down. At 26 weeks, five days pregnant, something didn’t feel right. My motherly instincts kicked in and told me to get to the hospital at 4 a.m.

After many tests by concerned medical staff, my doctor showed up and discussed what they saw: a rare condition called “hydrops” that causes fluid in the unborn baby. It is dangerous for babies because it compromises the growth of their organs and puts extra work on the heart to get the fluid out of the body.

Within a few hours, the doctors in Salem transferred me to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center because it was better prepared for a baby with serious complications. The doctors said my son, Colten, likely wouldn’t live for 48 hours. However, over the following few days we had constant monitoring that thankfully determined that my little fighter was holding strong.

After almost two months in the Family Birth Center, we decided that it was best to deliver Colten; the doctors delivered him via Caesarean section and sent him immediately to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Every minute or two a nurse would come in and give me updates: My baby was trying to breath but wasn’t doing too well, but he was stable!

He continued to improve, and on Aug. 11, 2011, I got to take him home, three months after our journey started. Colten still comes to Legacy Emanuel for appointments, and we visit when we can –– he smiles and lights up when he sees the people who contributed to saving his life. He is the happiest, always smiling and bright baby boy in the world. He lights up my life.

My son wouldn’t be here without the team at Legacy Emanuel. And for that, I will be forever grateful.

— Carissa Creighton