A 25th birthday doesn’t often include a visit to Rush University Medical Center’s NICU, but for Ethan and Josh Morgan, that’s where they found themselves. After entering the world at 25½ weeks and spending over two months in the RUSH NICU, the Morgan family made a triumphant return to celebrate a birthday that beat the odds.
Trusting the system
In April of 1997, Jennifer Morgan was admitted to RUSH at 21 weeks pregnant and placed on bedrest and medication for early contractions. But a few weeks later, the contractions were back, and Jennifer was taken back into RUSH to give birth to her twins at 25½ weeks. At the time, babies born at 25 weeks only had a 50% chance of survival once out of the womb.
“For some reason, I was never worried about them not making it,” Jennifer says. “I know the odds were low for success, but I just remember not feeling scared. I knew they would make it.”
The pregnancy was trying but successful, and Ethan and Josh were soon whisked off to the RUSH NICU where they would spend the first two months of their lives. Throughout their stay, the Morgans and the RUSH NICU team was tasked with aiding the twins’ development while also preventing any serious medical issues. Music, books and other developmental tools were used to support their growth.
“Everything I knew about my birth was from family stories and pictures,” says Ethan Morgan. “Visiting the RUSH NICU really opened my eyes to what my mom went through and how lucky we are to have survived without any developmental issues.”
Returning to the beginning
In returning to the RUSH NICU 25 years later, Jennifer and her family were reminded of how lucky they were to have a successful birth and recovery in RUSH’s system.
“To be honest, I was nervous about going back,” Jennifer says. “I thought it would provoke a lot of memories of uncertainty and the stark realization of what we all went through during that time, but instead I was reminded of the incredible care and support we had during our time there.”
While this visit is unique, it is not uncommon. NICU patients often develop strong bonds with the staff that carry on long after the patients have left the unit.
“My sons thrived under the care they had from all the doctors and nurses,” Jennifer says. “The nurses were always so helpful and wonderful, and the bond we created with them was deep. So much so that one of the nurses came to visit the kids after they came home.”
The Morgans are forever grateful for the dedication and expertise that Rush provided to help their sons thrive. Because of RUSH’s care, Ethan and Josh experienced no major medical or developmental issues and are currently living healthy, full lives.
Premier support at RUSH NICU
Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and Rush Copley Medical Center in Aurora offer level III neonatal intensive care units, the highest level of care for babies in need. Our neonatologists and NICU nurses use advanced technology to provide expert, around-the-clock care for babies born premature or with certain health conditions.
“Our patients become family,” says RUSH NICU Unit Director Kimberly Carmignani, RN. “We are deeply dedicated to their care and providing them help at every step of the way on their health journey.”