Little Fighter Stories

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Our babies deserve the very best care.

We need your help to give them a fighting chance. Your donation will be used to expand and renovate Crouse’s Baker Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where more than 1,000 critically ill and premature infants receive care each year.

Read our Crouse Little Fighters Stories

Parents: Jenn and Brock Benson
Hometown: Fort Sill, OK

We’d like to personally thank each and every single member of the Crouse NICU. Our little fighters Brynn, Bryant and Bryson were born on December 8, 2017, at 33 weeks and so tiny. Although very small, they were healthy and just needed to grow. After 34 days in the NICU they were released to go home and begin a large out-of-state move to Oklahoma. We are now all settled into our new home and doing so well. I want to thank our NICU nurse, Michelle, for helping me through some of the hardest days with our little one Bryson. He has to be intubated and I was alone and scared, while overseeing two additional babies. She hugged me and talked me through every step, making things much easier to handle. I will never forget how kind she was to me and my husband. We are proud to announce that Bryant, born at just 2 pounds, 12 ounces, is now a whopping 5 pounds and trying hard to catch up to his brother and sister. All three babies are such a blessing and we couldn’t have gotten to this point without the Crouse NICU team. THANK U, CROUSE NICU!

Parents: Kristen and Dominic Lizzio
Hometown: Liverpool, NY
Big things often have small beginnings. This is how our story begins. June 15, 2014, at 32 weeks pregnant with triplets, I met the biggest blessings God has ever handed me. I was scared, anxious and overwhelmed, but most of all I was blessed. I was dealt a huge responsibility at only 21 years old and how we were going to do it was beyond me, but my husband and I refused to let the “what if’s” or “could be’s” stand in our way. I knew this was meant to be…we were supposed to be parents to triplet boys and then all of a sudden, one day, they were here. It all happened so fast and after a rough, unexpected delivery, I woke up the next morning to my husband telling me the boys were here. All just over 3 pounds, I remember thinking they could break if I squeezed too tight or kissed too hard. My little fighters were my children and now my entire world.

The boys stayed in the Baker Regional NICU for two months. I have never in my life felt so blessed to have the people I had around us. As a parent, there is no words to describe how your heart shatters when you have to leave the hospital without your babies. The nurses at Crouse made me feel right at home. They were so loving and supportive. As a team they got my boys where they needed to be. When I couldn’t be there to wipe their tears at night, feed them at 3 a.m. or change them every two hours, they were there. They took care of my babies when I was at the worst vulnerable, emotional state of my life.

My son Vincent (baby C) was born with a cleft lip and bilateral palette. I remember getting frustrated because I didn’t know how to feed him or when I did, monitors would go off and I would panic. I felt as though I was failing him. But the nurses encouraged me, taught me and together we learned different techniques to get Vincent fed. The first day I was able to do it on my one, the nurses cried tears of joy with me.

They say, “God found someone the strongest women to make them parents,” but I think the truth is that God finds strong women and makes them nurses.

To all of the staff I want to say THANK U, Crouse NICU! You all have a special place in my heart. Because of you, I get to watch my babies grow. Because of you, I know how to handle the worst situations. And because of you, my boys always had love, and were always cared for.

Parents: Charles Pickering and Rebecca Anderson-Pickering
Hometown: Syracuse, NY

Three years ago, my wife and I were busy planning for Christmas and preparing for the incoming triplets, not realizing in a little over a month we would be the parents of three of the smallest babies (about 2 pounds, 5 ounces on average) either of us had ever seen, let alone held. During this Christmas season as I look at the three little miracles that we now have, I wanted to reach out to the nurses and doctors at Crouse and say a big THANK U, Crouse NICU! Spending every day in the NICU for nine weeks, my wife and I began to feel as though the nurses, doctors and staff were all a part of our family. The care our children received was amazing, and on top of that, the staff to the time to help my wife and I learn and grow to be parents. When it came time to bring Lillian, Corey and Charlie home, we were both confident that we could handle everything life was about to bring us. Here we are almost three years later, and we were right. From everyone in our family, we wish everyone at Crouse our deepest thanks!

Parents: Rhonda and Eric Payne
Hometown: East Syracuse, NY

Caroline and Catherine were born eight weeks early, and we from the time we found out we were having twins that we’d need the NICU. It was always a part of our plan. Caroline was always about half the size of Catherine, and she suffered from low fluid and poor Dopple flow. Both of them are such little fighters. Today, both girls are so different from one another, and we now know that some of the health and growth issues that Caroline had were because of a mitochondrial disorder. She was diagnosed in 2016 with mitochondrial disease which is causing poor growth, vision problems, many health issues and the need for physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and special education. Catherine, on the other hand, shows no signs of any health issues and continues to grow and be a healthy and happy 7 year old. We often show them pictures of their time in the NICU, Catherine’s 15 days and Caroline’s 47 days. We look back on the wonderful care that they received, knowing now that it was much harder to realize that at the time. It’s so hard to leave your kids behind, but you have to know they are in good hands. The staff at the NICU was  kind, caring and patient. THANK U, Crouse NICU!

Donate Now

When you give to Crouse’s Baker Regional NICU, you’re giving our region’s tiniest and sickest babies a fighting chance.


Donate Now

When you give to Crouse’s Baker Regional NICU, you’re giving our region’s tiniest and sickest babies a fighting chance.