This little girl was born at 26 weeks and weighed only 2 pounds at the time of her birth. She was immedietly put on a ventilator and stayed like this for the next 12 weeks in the NICU. During her stay, the little angel frmed a beautiful special bond with the hospital staff.
Gloria Patten weighed 2 pounds when she was born at 26 weeks. The little angel then spent 12 weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the McAllen Medical Center in Texas.
The little girl made quite an impression on the staff during her stay at the hospital. Gloria made a new family in the heart of hospital staff and when the time came to finally bid goodbye to the hospital and go home healthy with her parents Alana and Jon, the staff sent her off in style with a spectacular graduation ceremony, complete with a graduation cap and robe.
Gloria was discharged from the NICU on Tuesday, two weeks before she was actually due to be born.
Alana gave birth to her dauhter only 26 weeks into the pregnancy. Her daughter Gloria came into the world on 29 Februaury, which also happened to be Leap Day. "She’s right next to me now. That part has a been a relief," Alana said in an interview with Good Morning America. "I feel like we can be a full family now."
Gloria is her parents' first child and she was born in such a fragile state that the little girl was kept in NICU for two weeks and her parents during that time her parents' were not even allowed to hold her.
"She was so tiny and I just remember how painstaking of a process it would be just so I could hold her," Alana recalled. "We’d have to get the whole team to come over to transfer her from the incubator to my arms."
The pandemic also didnt make the situation any less hard and Alana and Jon were not allowed to visit the hospital because of the restrictions. They could only visit their baby one at a time and only during certain hours of the day.
"It was all to keep the NICU safe and we understood that, but as brand new parents, it felt like we were a world away from her," said Alana. "My husband held her for the first time when she came home."
The nurses who were on call during Gloria's stay, also watched how Alana made a connection with her daugter even from far. "She provided breast milk all throughout the baby’s stay and she visited almost every day," said Enedelia Reyna, one of the registered nurses who cared for Gloria. "And they read to the baby all day, which is very important and was heartwarming to watch, to say the least."
Gloria's graduation was also Alana's idea as the mum wanted to record her daughter struggle of achieving milestone against all odds. All the doctors and the nurses who cared for baby Gloria lined up at the wall to share their happiness and love for her. "This is our first baby who really stayed with us during this new [coronavirus] time," said DeeDee Cantu, a registered nurse and the NICU supervisor. "It was very emotional. There were a lot of tears."