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!

Parents: Chris and Kali Fatti
Hometown: Syracuse, NY

One year ago our sweet rainbow miracle baby, Aria, was born at 31 weeks gestation due to severe preeclampsia. This 2 lbs. 10 oz. little fighter spent the first 38 days of her life in the Baker Regional NICU at Crouse. In the corner of nursery A was where Aria learned to breathe, eat, maintain her temperature and grow. It’s where I first laid hands on her, where we eventually first held her and learned to change diapers, where she had her first bath and wore her first outfit. It’s hard to put into words our appreciation and love for those that helped us bring her home. We are eternally grateful as we fall more and more in love with this child every day. THANK U, CROUSE NICU!

Parents: Tiffany Fields and Jonathan Bishop
Hometown: Rome, NY
On April 6, 2016 I delivered twins, a girl and a boy. Our son Jonathan was rushed to Crouse Hospital to be admitted into the Baker Regional NICU, while our daughter Tapanga stayed with me at our local hospital. The transport team was amazing. They told me what was going to happen and they were going to take great care of my 2 pound, 13 ounces baby boy. I asked if I could hold him before they took him and they took him out of the transport incubator and put him in my arms. I looked at his little body and gave him a kiss and told him I would see him soon. I called them 45 minutes later and was told they had arrived at Crouse and Jonathan was doing great and that I could call anytime day or night to check up on him. The Crouse staff was fantastic with giving me information.

The next day my daughter and I were released and I went right to his bedside at Crouse. Nurses and doctors kept me informed, telling what was wrong and that he was doing great and that he just needed more time to grow and get bigger. Every day I say at his bed side for hours and would talk to him, hold him and tell him that his sister loved him and that mommy and daddy couldn’t wait for him to come home.

As the days and nights continued, I stayed at his bedside holding him, talking to him and just looking out the window amazed at how something so beautiful as a clock tower could be right outside a window where such scary circumstances were going on. After over a month of looking at the clock tower, we were able to take our little man home. That day, I remember looking at the clock tower and saying to his dad, “When he gets older, I want him to see just how beautiful this clock tower is and how many nights we sat here looking at it, hoping and praying that we would go home soon.”

Jonathan and Tapanga are now one and a half years old, and he has seen the clock tower again when we went back to visit. I stood outside looking up at the sky and all my worries came back to the days of not knowing what was going to happen. As he looked up, he hugged me and giggled. I told him, “I know you don’t understand yet but someday you will. It’s not easy seeing all the babies and their families in the NICU.” I was a first time mother of two and not a day goes by that I don’t look at them both and thank not only God, but the doctors and nurses at Crouse for helping my little fighter come home to his family. THANK U, CROUSE NICU!

Parents: Dave and Rachel Guido
Hometown: Camillus, NY
On October 26, 2016 our daughter Giuliana Marie Guido made an unexpected entrance into this world at 32 weeks gestation, weighing 2 pounds, 9 ounces. Giuliana was immediately transferred to the NICU, where she spent the next five weeks of her life.

Our family would like to share our deepest thanks and appreciation to the NICU staff. All of the staff involved in our daughter’s care showed such passion and devotion. During the entire time Giuliana was in the hospital, she only had one setback: she had to wear oxygen for a few days. We can attribute her progress to the nurses being such wonderful advocates for our baby. Her tiniest milestones were celebrated not only by us, but the NICU staff as well. The toughest part of the day for my husband and I was when it was time to leave our daughter, knowing we couldn’t bring her home yet. Each nurse would encourage us to call with questions or just to check in, telling us we weren’t a bother. I know it sounds simple, but when you can’t have your newborn home with you the little things are the big things.

After spending hours each day on the 9th floor, I’m impressed with the team work and flexibility of the entire NICU team. Witnessing the strengths of this unit confirmed our baby was in the best place. THANK U, CROUSE NICU for providing the highest quality care to our daughter and helping her to come home as quickly as possible. Not only is our daughter a NICU survivor, but we are too! We are forever thankful.

Parents: Rich and Liza Eider
Hometown: Scriba, NY
Our son Colton was born on May 11, 2016 at Oswego Hospital via emergency C-section. Within hours of his birth, he was transferred to Crouse NICU with breathing problems and blood sugar issues.

Colton would spend the first 11 days of his life being cared for at the NICU by Dr. Gross.

Almost seven months later, he is a happy growing boy who just loves life! We just want to say THANK U, CROUSE NICU to the doctors and nurses who took excellent care of him!

Parents: Miranda Main
Hometown: Port Leyden, NY

My daughter Annabelle Mackenzie Johnson was born at 25 weeks, weighing in at one pound, four ounces. She spent 97 days in the Crouse NICU.

Even though I was a first-time mom, I knew something wasn’t right, so I went in to be checked out. We learned that my baby was wrapped multiple times by the umbilical cord and was in distress. I had an emergency C-section, and Annabelle was born in critical condition and taken to Crouse.

We were told that she might not make it through the night, but Annabelle was a fighter and survived. She needed oxygen until a week before she was sent home, and has had seven blood transfusions, laser surgery on both eyes and physical and speech therapy. Her development is very delayed, but she’s making progress little by little.

The staff at Crouse was amazing. Thank U, Crouse NICU!

Parents: David & Bridgette Farney
Hometown: Lowville, NY
I was a 40-year-old preeclampsia patient with gestational diabetes. I had a non-stress test at my regular doctor’s office in Lowville, and she was concerned about my blood pressure. They sent me for observation in the maternity ward at our local hospital.

My blood pressure did not improve. Because of all the complications that can occur with preeclampsia, I was taken by ambulance to Crouse, where the physicians felt it was in my best interest to have the baby by C-section.

My son was born five weeks early, weighing five pounds, 12 ounces.While I was discharged after four days, Dawson stayed for 11 days in the NICU due to his high levels of bilirubin. We called every day from Lowville, more than an hour away from Syracuse, to check on his condition. We were so happy he was in good hands

Everyone was very gracious, taking their time to explain everything. The nursing staff in the NICU did an awesome job. Thank U, Crouse NICU!

Parents: Jennifer & Michael Thayer
Hometown: Syracuse, NY

Smiles and joy with love all around. We can say that now when we look at our sweet baby girl, but on that night back on March 4, 2015, we’re not sure we could have.

Fear, crying, shaking and just wanting to pick Zoey up and run from what felt like a nightmare is how we felt. But the amazing staff in the NICU, from the neonatologists to the respiratory therapy team, imaging staff for x-rays and ultrasounds and the amazing nurses and speech and occupational therapists, all helped us walk a path we were unsure of.

We spent 66 days in the Crouse NICU with our daughter, who developed NEC and needed emergency surgery at five days old and then struggled with her little kidneys and heart to function properly.

The team was there every step of the way with compassion and understanding while we asked question after question, sometimes more than once. They placed Zoey in our arms when the time was right sent us on our way to Rochester for her heart surgery.

We don’t think thanks will be enough for all those who helped with our little fighter, who has continued to show us her strength and endurance and her little stubborn streak. Thank U, Crouse NICU!

Parents: Chea Williams
Hometown: Dewitt, NY

Che’Onna was born the day before Thanksgiving, on Nov. 26, 2014, nearly four months before her due date. She weight 1 ol., 13 oz.

A true little fighter from the start, the staff called her Miss Fiesty, and 115 days later Che’Onna was able to go home.

The staff was phenomenal! They were very knowledgeable and encouraging to me and my daughter. Thank you for all you have done!

On Thanksgiving Day this year, Che’Onna will be a year old and a whopping 18 lbs. Because of your care, my daughter has no medical issues or delays.

Many blessings to all the staff and angels around your new patients and their parents!

Thank you, Crouse NICU!

Parents: Jennifer & Christopher Johnson
Hometown: Sauquoit, NYTwenty-two weeks into my pregnancy, I began to have complications. I was admitted to Crouse just before 32 weeks so I could be more closely monitored. Three weeks later, our son Preston was born and taken to the NICU for examination. He appeared to be doing well, but had some difficulty breathing and was treated for jaundice and weight gain concerns.

The most difficult part of our situation was not being with Preston all the time he was in the NICU. It was a long and tiring nine days for us, but we knew Preston was getting the best of care from the nurses and doctors.

We were discharged from the hospital on Valentine’s Day. It was the sweetest gift we could have ever asked for, having our family be reunited, under one roof!

Preston is almost 10 months old and thriving. We are so appreciative of the NICU staff for helping our family get through that difficult time in our life. We are eternally grateful for their dedicated work! ThankU, Crouse NICU!

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Parents: Luke and Lindsey Powers
Hometown: Auburn, NYOur son Logan arrived 13 weeks early. I had a normal pregnancy until I spent five days in Crouse Hospital, 96 hours in labor, at week 27. Logan was born on Aug. 17, 2014, weighing 2.8 lbs. It was the scariest time of our lives, yet Logan came out crying, which was the most beautiful sound when you go into labor 13 weeks early.

While in the NICU for 73 days, Logan had his ups and downs, and so did we. We cried, smiled and tried to laugh. The nurses and doctors took away our fears. The noises and emotions are something we will never forget.

If it wasn’t for the hard work and dedication of the Crouse NICU team, Logan wouldn’t be where he is today. As I sit here and write this, Logan is weighing in at 25 pounds, 31 inches tall. We celebrated his first birthday in August and he is starting to walk. He has hit every milestone and couldn’t be a happier child. We are extremely blessed. There are not enough thanks in the world for the people at Crouse. Life is truly fragile! Enjoy every minute!

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Parents: Chris and Laurie Kraus
Hometown: Liverpool, NY
I was pregnant with twins and having a relatively normal pregnancy until I started having sharp pains and bleeding on Nov. 13, 2005. I was admitted to Crouse Hospital in an attempt to stop the bleeding, but it was discovered that one of the babies, Tanner, was pulling away from my uterine wall.Samantha and Tanner were born on Nov. 20 at 29 weeks and spent seven weeks in the Crouse NICU. Samantha weighed 2 lbs., 1 oz. and Tanner was 2 lbs., 9 oz. at birth. When Samantha was discharged in January 2006, she was one of the smallest babies to ever leave the NICU.

Today, my twins are healthy nine-year-olds who enjoy playing soccer, swimming and playing with their friends. I am grateful for the care my children received while in the Baker NICU. We had the best nurses and doctors one could ask for. I am proud to be a parent of Crouse NICU Graduates!


Parents: William and Sharon Knepp
Hometown: Syracuse, NYOur Ally spent time in the Baker regional NICU at Crouse and we want to thank all of the nurses and doctors who helped her. She is now a thriving 10-year-old fifth grader and we’reso grateful to the Crouse NICU for her good health.

Our Ally spent time in the NICU at Crouse and we want to thank all of the nurses and doctors that helped her. She is now a thriving 10-year-old, in fifth grade, and we are so grateful to the Crouse NICU for her good health. ThankU, Crouse NICU!

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Parents: Kara Tennant/Damien Sands
Hometown: Taberg, NY

Our “little fighter” was born this year on July 19 at 23 weeks weighing 1lb 5oz. The Crouse NICU doctors and nurses have been a blessing, saving our little hero. I would like to thank everyone in the Crouse NICU for all their help and support. ThankU, Crouse NICU!

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Parents: Julie (Byrne) Martin
Hometown: Camillus, NYOur story began at 0038 on January 29, 1995 and we are profoundly grateful to the doctors and nurses at Crouse Hospital that it did not end there.

Hayley (Byrne) Martin arrived 13 weeks early, weighing 1140 grams. She spent her first 109 days in the NICU at Crouse. For 56 days she needed a ventilator to breathe. For a shocked new mother never known for her patience, Hayley (and Crouse) taught me many life lessons… Success can be measured in the smallest of terms – cc’s and grams; wash your hands; life is fragile; patience… growing takes time; that she’s different is what that makes her unique; with the support of your friends and family ANYTHING in life is possible.

You said she would need to be a fighter. Now at nearly 21 years old, she is a force. An honor student, attending Christopher Newport University in southern Virginia. She is beautiful and considerate. She is persistent, hard-working and dedicated. She was a student of ballet and has had the opportunity to perform in professional productions. Now a student athlete and member of the CNU Storm Dance Team, she has competed in National Championships twice. She is the master at cramming 26 hours of activity into one 24-hour day. I hope you are as proud as I am.

And although you covered her beautiful face with that awful white tape and shaved her head in three places, you pushed us to be stronger and more courageous, willed her to grow and you loved and cared for her as much as we did. For this – thank you and congratulations on 40 years. Your efforts will never be in vein. ThankU, Crouse NICU!

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Parents: Amanda and Justin Reid
Hometown: Watertown, nyDakota was born on July 18, 2014 at 23 weeks, weighing 1lb., 8oz. and 12.5 inches long. He was immediately transferred to Crouse NICU from the hospital in which he was born. The first few days he had what they called the “honeymoon” phase. Shortly after, we found out that he had a bilateral grade, three-quarter brain bleed, which would most likely lead to a poor quality of life.

At 11 days, he underwent his first surgery, PDA ligation. Even after Dakota’s surgery, he was not improving and was on 100 percent oxygen. We were urged to stop care because, on top of his brain bleed, his lungs were so premature. We decided to give him time, and shortly after he started to improve, little by little. I got to hold him for the first time when he was about a month old; the skin-to skin-contact helped him grow and gain strength.

When he was two months old, he had his second surgery. He had Stage 3 ROP that needed to be repaired. Once he recovered from that, he continued to grow and improve. Finally, at 14 weeks old, after 98 days in the NICU, Dakota was discharged at a tiny 3lbs., 12oz. He shocked many doctors and nurses with his strength and will to survive. Two months after he was discharged, he had his third surgery to place a VP shunt for the hydrocephalus that his IVH had caused.

Today, at 14 months, he’s happy and healthy little boy. ThankU, Crouse NICU!

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Parents: Charlene and Shannon Smith
Hometown: Orlando, FLOn Jan. 15, 2000, I experienced my second major membrane rupture and this time, just shy of 23 weeks into the pregnancy, I was admitted to Crouse Hospital on bed rest to wait for my delivery time.

A short 10 days later, I started having labor pains. I was told by the late, great Dr. Richard Aubry that I would be delivering that day. At 4:47 p.m., Katelin was born, weighing 520 grams, or 1 lb., 2 oz. She was successfully intubated and rushed to the Baker NICU. She went down to 14 oz., but, determined to prove everyone who gave us a grim, yet realistic, prognosis wrong, she continued to fight her way to survival.

On her 100th day in the NICU, Katelin was in my arms when she stopped breathing and turned blue. Out of nowhere, a team of angels in scrubs began to resuscitate her. She was put into an induced coma for the enxt 10 days and tested for sepsis and meningitis. This is how I spent my first Mother’s day.

A month after Katelin came out of the come, she went for her first of what would be a total of 13 surgeries, five of them while a patient in the Baker NICU. A few days later, when making our nightly call to the NICU from the Ronald McDonald House, we were told by NICU nurse Chris Warren to come up to the hospital, since Katelin had extubated and was on a nasal cannula!

She came home with us on June 26, 2000, weighing 4 lbs., 10 oz. We were in the NICU for 156 days.

My husband and I have such gratitude for the Crouse NICU nurses. They always had little notes and keepsakes made for Katelin for special occasions. Almost sixteen years later, I still have them. They meant so much to my me and my husband then, and still so much today. Making these seemingly little treasures is not in their job descriptions, yet they did it. I am not sure that we ever really said “thank you!”

The Crouse NICU team was patient and kind to us each and every day, teaching us how to care for our daughter. I am happy to report that Katelin will b 16 and is very excited to get her first car! She is an avid drummer, perfroming with drummers from Johnny Cash and Confederate Railroad band. Thank you to the doctors and nurses at the Crouse NICU for believing in Katelin!

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Parents: Christine Griffith
Hometown: Cortland, NYOn July 2, 2013, I gave birth to a beautiful little girl named Angel. Although she was full term, she spent 10 days in the Baker Regional NICU because of issues with low blood sugar. The doctors and staff were awesome and they even arranged for me and my oldest child and to stay at the Ronald McDonald House. I just wanted to say kudos to the Crouse NICU staff…you all are awesome!

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Parents: Sheila and Mason Winters
Hometown: Syracuse, NY
Liam was born at 26 weeks weighing 1lbs., 12oz. and spent 200 days in Crouse’s Baker NICU. Not only did he face a heart condition in addition to being a preemie, but Liam also had open heart surgery at six months of age.As we dealt with Liam’s long stay and his medical condition, the staff at Crouse provided wonderful support. We will always remember Dr. Bode as being our biggest supporter. We couldn’t have made it through this journey without the wonderful staff in the Crouse NICU. Liam is now a happy and healthy five-year-old!

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Parents: Keith and Lori Travis
Hometown: Binghamton, NYOn Oct. 16, 2006, I was transferred to Crouse from a hospital in Binghamton when I was diagnosed with HELLP syndrome. A few days later, I was taken in for an emergency C-section and that’s how our 23-week, micro-preemie began her 141-day Baker NICU journey. Madison weighed 461 grams and was only 11.5 inches. We never thought about the NICU when learning of our pregnancy, but we are very grateful that when the unexpected happened, we were fortunate to be at Crouse. As much as Madison needed the doctors and nurses physically, we needed them so much emotionally. Leaving our little girl with strangers was not easy, but it didn’t take long to realize that the NICU staff had become Madison’s extended family. We are so thankful for all of the doctors and nurses who went above and beyond and made our life, as we know it, possible. The NICU journey is something a child will never remember and a parent will never forget. Thank you so much! Love, The Travis Family.

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Parents: Carlin Chavez
Hometown: Seymour, TX

Right after Christmas I noticed something wasn’t right. I was living in Watertown at the time and was only 28 weeks along when I was diagnosed with preeclampsia. I was immediately rushed to Crouse Hospital in the middle of the night. After my arrival, it appeared everything had stabilized. Suddenly, two weeks later, my doctor informed me that we could not wait any longer and that I had to have an emergency C-section.

My miracle entered into the world on Jan. 13, 2013 and was immediately rushed to the NICU. I couldn’t see him for 24 hours. It took everything inside me not to sneak up there. When I finally did see him, it was the best day of my life.

The staff helped with everything. From getting a place to stay at the Ronald McDonald House, to the care they provided for my son, Alex, who stayed in the Baker NICU a month without any additional complications. We even got to go home before his due date. Shortly after leaving the hospital, we moved back to Texas to be with family.

The love and care from the Crouse NICU staff is beyond amazing. I will forever be thankful. Alex is now almost three-years-old and is a perfectly healthy, normal little boy. I wish y’all could meet him now. Holding that tiny little baby back then, I never dreamed we could be here.

Thank you for the love and care my son received while in the Baker NICU. We will forever be grateful.

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Parents: Callan Taylor & Jonathan Szewczyk
Hometown: Syracuse, NYMy twins, Jackson and Cassidy, were born at 34 weeks in Crouse Hospital and immediately taken to the Baker NICU. I was devastated that I had to be separated from my twins, but everyone in the NICU made me feel comfortable. Knowing my newborns were getting the best care possible made me feel better.Our little Jackson was born at 4 lbs., 12 oz. He hasn’t had any problems other than being born early. Cassidy had a harder time adjusting to life outside the womb, as she needed oxygen to help her breathe.

The nurses reassured me that they were fine every time I was there to visit or when I called. Thank you so much to everyone who took such good care of my twins! They are doing great at home and gaining weight. I couldn’t have asked for better people to take care of my babies.

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Parents: Justin and Annie Bleuer
Hometown: Greene, NYOur little Theodore was born five weeks early on July 10, 2014, in Binghamton, NY. We had just found out through a routine ultrasound that he had some kind of intestinal problem, but he made his arrival before we could get a second opinion or more information. Later that morning he was rushed by ambulance to the Baker Regional NICU at Crouse. When we arrived later that day to see him, we were met by an incredibly kind and capable nursing staff. Even though they had just met our little son, we felt like they loved him already. Theo had surgery at Upstate for Jejunal Atresia the next day, and we started the wait for his intestines to start working again.

We had no idea that it would take more than six weeks before his digestive system would start working correctly. Throughout his stay at Crouse, we experienced a wonderful group of nurses and doctors, who were so kind and patient with us when we were frustrated and tired. When we could not be there to visit Theo, we called several times a day. The nurses consistently answered our questions and gave updates about our little miracle boy.

When Theo finally graduated from the NICU and went home on Aug. 27, we were touched by the number of nurses who were sad to see him go. Theo is happy and content, and he is such a joy to our family. We will be forever grateful to the Crouse NICU and all their staff for the loving and excellent care our son received.

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Parents: Kristen Lizzio
Hometown: Liverpool, NY

On June 14, 2014 (Father’s Day), my husband and I welcomed our triplet boys Aiden, Dominic and Vincent. They are now the light of our entire world, but what a crazy ride it is been from not even expecting to get pregnant to finding out we had three on the way! The boys were born at 32 weeks old, and were delivered by emergency C-section. I was scared, but the nurse held my hand and told me it was going to be okay.

I had complications, but there was no better feeling knowing that although I was sick, my kids were two floors above me getting the best care they could get. Vincent was born with a cleft lip and bilateral pallet; he’s since undergone three surgeries this past year. Feeding him was a struggle for me, but all the nurses were with me every step of the way to teach me how. The other two boys were in the NICU for low birth weight.

I appreciate everything the NICU staff did for me and my family. When I wasn’t there to change a diaper do a feeding, they took my place… from parent’s view, it’s very hard but it something I’ll appreciate for the rest my life. I am so thankful for the Crouse NICU and everything they have done for me and my children. ThankU, Crouse NICU!

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Parents: David and Meaghan Palmer
Hometown: Erieville, NYMy pregnancy was mostly uneventful, and this being my first child, my husband and I were very excited to meet our daughter Emma. After 14 hours of labor, I required an emergency C-section, bringing my beautiful and seemingly healthy full-term daughter into the world at Crouse Hospital. After 14 hours of life, Emma started turning blue. She was rushed to the Baker NICU, where it was determined she had pulmonary stenosis, a congenital heart defect.

My husband and I were scared, shocked and overwhelmed with the news that our beautiful girl needed a life-saving procedure that may or may not work. The NICU staff was incredible. They loved my daughter as if she were one of their own and were there to pick my husband and I up when we began to fall apart. They even put blankets over the monitors to help us focus on our beautiful girl instead of her numbers. They taught me how to care for my daughter, which as a first-time mother, really helped ease my nerves. They advocated and fought for my family and communicated with doctors and explained procedures.

It was so hard leaving my girl every night, but before we left her, the nurse for the night reassured me they would love her and care for her while we were apart. We also were able to call any hour of the night to check on how she was doing. The day the news came of her discharge, the doctors were just as excited about her going home as we were. I credit the entire staff with saving my daughter’s life. These people are the kindest, most caring people on earth. I can honestly say I love them and owe them the world!

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Parents: Paul and Lenore Sealy
Hometown: Syracuse, NYWhen I was in labor, they did a fetal monitoring test and could tell that Zak was in distress and recommended an emergency C-section. He had to spend time in the Baker NICU, and the whole team was amazing. Zak was hooked up to all kinds of monitors with all kinds of tubes. We had to just step back and let them do their jobs — and we weren’t the only ones in there — there were a number of other little babies, all fighting for their lives, too. And it was all about the team — everyone in the NICU working as a team. The care was unparalleled. Not only did they care for Zak’s physical needs, but they cared for our emotional needs as well. ThankU, Crouse NICU!

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Parents: Natasha Zabek
Hometown: Plain City, OH

Twins Kensington and Quinn were born in 2013 at 32 weeks and 4 days. We are forever grateful to the NICU team that saved our babies, born with Apgar scores of 1 and 2. I was in very bad shape and received multiple blood transfusions during that time. The NICU was amazing at taking care of my girls and also recognizing the need for bonding. I only ever felt well enough in the middle of the night for a visit, but they were always so kind, making sure I got to hold my girls. Crouse is the best. They not only do what’s best for baby. They do what’s best for mom, too. THANK U, CROUSE NICU!

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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.