Having a newborn child placed on the highest form of respiratory support was something Chelsea and Harold Nohle describe as terrifying. After a 30 week pregnancy, their daughter Vivian was born on September 21, 2013. The premature birth was the result of a condition called HELLP syndrome.
HELLP syndrome is a life-threatening problem that can happen during a pregnancy. It is named after the possible causes of the condition. A mother with HELLP experiences red blood cell breakdown (hemolysis), elevated liver enzymes and low platelet count. The most common treatment is to induce labor prematurely.
Weighing just under 2 pounds and 2 ounces, Vivian had underdeveloped lungs that required intubation and eventually the use of an oscillator.
While it was scary for them, Vivian’s parents also recall something else about their daughter’s early days.
Placed into care of the Baker Regional NICU at Crouse Health, her parents say, “The doctors and nurses went above and beyond to save her.”
Vivian spent 79 days in the NICU, battling infection, thyroid deficiency, requiring blood transfusions and facing respiratory issues.
Living an hour away in Mannsville, NY, Chelsea and Harold made the commute to the hospital daily to support Vivian while looking after their two older children. They credit the Crouse staff for helping them to manage the situation and connect Vivian to her older siblings.
With the help of what her parents consider the best care possible, Vivian gained more than double her weight, made important health improvements and was able to be sent home. She remained on oxygen at home until she was six months old, but Chelsea and Harold feel the hospital helped make the adjustment simple.
They feel they owe her life to Crouse.
Today, Vivian is three years old and has all of the appropriate motor and language skills for her age. She is described as happy, healthy, and hilarious.
Her remarkable fight, progress, and ability have not been overshadowed by her small stature. Chelsea and Harold call to mind one of Shakespeare’s infamous lines to describe their little fighter.
“Though she be but little, she is fierce.”
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