Miracle Monday: Family reflects on unexpected NICU stay

SPOKANE, Wash.– Baby Lucy Saywers is full of life and surrounded by love.

“She is the happiest baby ever,” mother Elli Saywers said.

Just by looking at her, you would never know what Lucy has had to overcome in her short life.

“As a first time mom you think, I’m gonna do this and this is how it’s going to go,” Elli said. “And that all got thrown out the window.”

Ellie had an uncomplicated pregnancy. She said her delivery last year was on track to be the same. Then, everything changed.

“I held her for maybe five or ten seconds before they whisked her off,” Elli said.

Lucy aspirated meconium, a newborn’s first poop. Right away, she was having trouble with her lungs, so doctors rushed Lucy to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

“Having her be in the NICU was not something I’d ever thought of at all,” Elli said.

It was a terrifying time for Elli and her husband. But soon they found hope in the fact that Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital has a Level 4 NICU. They are able to offer the highest level of care in Eastern Washington, North Idaho and Northwest Montana, according to NICU nurse manager Katie Lowderback.

“The nursing staff, as well as the ancillary staff, care for these children,” Lowderback said. “Some of them form really amazing relationships because they stay for so long.”

Lucy was in the NICU for 20 days, according to Elli. They depended on the staff there for support and care.

“I really, really leaned hard on the nurses there. The nurses and the doctors were so incredible,” Elli said.

After Lucy’s stay, her family had a new appreciation for the medical resources in Spokane.

“Life is so fleeting and you never know what’s going to happen,” Elli said. “So I’m really grateful she’s here.”

Donations to Children’s Miracle Network are crucial in providing some of the tools they use inside of the NICU at Sacred Heart. Learn more about donating HERE.

RELATED: Miracle Monday: 5-year-old girl bravely battles cancer