LAFAYETTE – This Christmas, not everyone is able to celebrate at home with their family. Some will spend it in the neonatal intensive care unit at Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
But, even the small things can spread holiday cheer through tough times.
“He’s our angel child. He’s our little miracle baby. I’m just happy that everything’s okay, and he’s here,” said Lexi Romero. At just a week old, her son, Cane, is spending his first Christmas in the NICU.
Cane was born with a twisted bowel. Something his parents, Lexi and Jade, didn’t plan for.
“He was perfect and healthy, and the day we were supposed to go home, we found out he had to have surgery and be here. We also found that he had some brain damage that was causing seizures, so they had to put him on medication for that,” said Lexi.
This holiday will be one of the toughest yet for the Romero family.
“It’s more emotional because we have two other kids that we have to be apart from. You know, we have to be there, and then, we have to be here because they’re separated,” she said.
But, the nurses and staff, who are also spending their holidays in the NICU, have become their extended family.
“It’s difficult being away from my family, but it’s comforting to know that you’re with people that you make all the difference in their Christmas because they can’t have their babies at home,” said Mindy Choate, Cane’s NICU nurse, who says Christmas is her favorite holiday to work. “And, you know, we do a lot of special things that make them feel like the NICU’s Christmas even though they’d much rather have their babies at home.”
And for the Romero’s, one Christmas gift brought relief when little Cane was finally able to breathe on his own.
“We’ve been getting a lot better news. He’s a lot more stable. We’re hoping we stay on this uphill road,” said the mom.
“To be able to give them the gift of holding their baby for the first time on Christmas or making big changes like we did for this baby, you know, it’s kind of like an early Christmas gift that you get to give to these parents,” said the nurse.
Now, the Romeros are looking forward to what the new year will bring.
“We’re ready to be home. His brothers are counting down the days,” said Cane’s parents.