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!