Parents praise Baptist Health Floyd NICU for care and support following birth of son
New Albany, IN (Oct. 24, 2023) - Kelsi and Trevor Wright were like most first-time expectant parents anxiously awaiting the birth of their baby. They were nervous, but also very excited. Kelsi had no problems during her pregnancy and none were expected as she moved closer to her due date.
But baby Lew decided to come into the world four weeks early.
“That came as a surprise,” Kelsi said. “I was really worried about him being several weeks early and didn’t know if he would have some kind of lung problem. But when he was born, he was healthy.”
However, a few hours after birth, Lew developed double pneumonia. He was taken to Baptist Health Floyd’s new Level II NICU where he would stay for the next five weeks.
While trying to wrap their emotions around having their newborn son rushed to the NICU, Kelsi and Trevor were also told Lew was born with Down syndrome.
Down syndrome is a genetic disorder where a person has an extra chromosome. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 6,000 babies are born with Down syndrome each year.
Kelsi said genetic disorders did not run in either family so she chose not to do testing during her pregnancy. While they were both surprised, she said knowing prior to birth that Lew had Down syndrome would not have made any difference.
“The chances of having a Down’s baby were like one in 1,000 so we didn’t do any genetic testing,” Kelsi said. “We were asked about it but if this baby had some genetic abnormalities, we were not going to terminate it. It would not have changed anything we have done, but we may have been more prepared.”
Nothing could have prepared them for the five weeks Lew had to stay in the NICU due to the pneumonia. However, Kelsi said, the NICU staff at the hospital went above and beyond to make her and Trevor feel comfortable. Kelsi came everyday to be with her baby. And on top of everything, she was dealing with a painful injury. She dislocated her tailbone giving birth.
“I cried a lot … all the nurses were so great,” she said. “They understood. It’s emotional having a baby and on top of that he was in the NICU. There was just a lot going on and I was going through my own pain. That extra pain on top of the mental strain was quite the time. Everyone was truly great. That was the toughest time in my entire life.”
Kelsi and Trevor had a lot of family support during the five weeks Lew was in the hospital. She also praised the nurses as well as neonatal care providers, Noel Devore, APRN and Catherine Boggs, APRN.
“Noel and Katy and all the nurses in there were so great at what they were doing, you would have thought they were there working as a team forever,” Kelsi said. “They were trying to coach us through everything, letting us know our baby would be OK and giving us resources for Down syndrome. They made sure all our questions were answered so we would be able to process this news the best that we could. There were a lot of great people there. The speech therapist, physical therapist and lactation specialist were all so great. It really does take a village and that NICU had everything and more that I could have possibly asked for.”
The couple have also gotten plenty of support from the Down Syndrome of Louisville organization which came immediately to meet Lew.
“They have been absolutely fantastic. I didn’t know they even existed,” she said.
Kelsi said while she didn’t think she would need a NICU when choosing a hospital to deliver her baby, she is glad she chose Baptist Health Floyd which opened its NICU earlier this year. She said Lew is now thriving thanks to the care he received.
“They really set us up for success in the NICU,” she said. “He is eating so well and progressing just amazingly since we have been home. It’s just a relief having him here. It has helped me heal and feel better mentally.
“When I was choosing hospitals one of my friends had told me that Floyd had recently gotten a NICU. And I thought my pregnancy has been good so far, we don’t expect to need a NICU. Honestly, I didn’t think anything of it. The fact that they did have one was huge. My baby would have had to be transferred to another hospital, that added on top of everything else that we were dealing with would have been totally detrimental to my already fragile mental health.”
She said she is forever indebted to the NICU staff.“I don’t know how I would have done it without that staff and NICU being there. It was the hardest part of my life and they made it so much more bearable than it would have been otherwise.”