One Cool Little Dude – Thiago’s Story
Written by Aixa Acevado, Thiago’s mom
I was 24 weeks pregnant when David and I got the horrific news from a maternal specialist that I would have to deliver my firstborn son within 48 hours. I remember desperately asking, “Why? What’s wrong? How is he going to survive?” According to my week-by-week pregnancy book, his lungs weren’t even developed yet. How was he going to breathe? The doctor just said, “You need to check into the hospital right now.” I was suffering from severe preeclampsia. Delivery of the baby, or bad placenta, is the only cure.
David and I walked quietly to the car, where I called my mother to give her the news. I began to sob, and so did David. Several hours after my arrival at Winnie Palmer Hospital, the doctor explained that the pregnancy would be induced. A C-section was going to be avoided at all costs due to the risk it posed on my life and the high possibility of not being able to have children in the future. The doctor explained that the baby would not survive the labor and delivery due to his size (less than one pound) and fragile state. He even said that if by some miracle the baby survived delivery, his lungs were too underdeveloped and his health was too poor to be able to survive on the outside, on his own. It was likely the baby would be dead before labor even began. We were emotionally drained.
I began to feel a little better and was able to hold off on the inducing for a few days in hopes that the baby could have that time to develop more. Every hour was crucial. I was given steroid shots to help his lungs grow. All too soon, my health got worse, and the doctor said they really should focus on my health because the baby’s chances for survival were slim. After five days of an emotional roller coaster, to say the least, I was induced, and Thiago Gabriel Torres was born — still in the sack, completely unscathed by the labor and delivery and alive. He weighed 1 pound, 4 ounces.
Although Thiago was born alive, that didn’t mean he would ever come home with us. Preemies sometimes die within a few hours of being born and as far out as two months later. Our story is one with a good ending, but an emotional and tough journey. Throughout Thiago’s stay, there were many people (my mother and sister specifically) and organizations that offered help and prayers. David became a solid rock and foundation for me, and Thiago’s biggest fan. I personally turned to the March of Dimes website for support and to read other preemie stories. I found comfort there. Thiago received a blood donation from Florida’s Blood Centers, and the Ronald McDonald House offered us a room to stay in while Thiago was in the NICU. We were blessed to have Dr. David A. Auerbach and the amazing staff at Winnie Palmer’s NICU. Three months and one week after Thiago was born — 99 days exactly — I got a call from Dr. Auerbach informing me that we could take him home.
Today Thiago is completely healthy. Most preemies are born with countless hurdles to overcome. Thiago only gets occupational therapy once a week because of minor residual effects from the intubation. Other than that, he is our amazing little miracle — he’s healthy, walking and talking. He is one cool little dude.
Winnie Palmer Hospital
Knitter and crafter volunteers donate preemie hats and blankets to be used and enjoyed by babies, children and their families. If you enjoy knitting or crocheting and would like to donate your items, please contact volunteer services at 321-841-5932.
Florida’s Blood Centers
One single blood donation can save up to three lives, lives like Thiago’s. Blood is always needed. The minimum age to donate blood is 16 years old. You can host a blood drive or visit one of the blood donation centers near you and save lives. www.floridasbloodcenters.org
March of Dimes
It’s estimated that $10.5 billion in loose change is sitting idle in American households. Imagine how far that would go in helping babies be born healthy. Donate your loose change to the March of Dimes. www.marchofdimes.com