MountainStar Health - October 02, 2019

"They are part of my family." That's how many mothers describe NICU teams who took care of their baby during scary, uncertain times. Alyson Hansen truly understands.

Alyson describes her pregnancy as "rough." As a Type 1 diabetic, her risk for complications was high. At about 30 weeks, her baby was getting quite large. At 32 weeks, Alyson went into an early labor. Her baby would likely need help from specialists who take care of premature newborns in a NICU. The hospital where she labored did not have one, so the MountainStar Patient Transfer team quickly arranged for an ambulance to take Alyson to Timpanogos Regional Hospital.

When her daughter Alta was born via C-section on October 21, 2018, the NICU specialists started a journey to help her grow stronger. Seventy-six days, 1,824 hours, 6,566,400 seconds later, Alta, her parents, and the NICU team were just like family.

Although Alta weighed 5 pounds, she was still a preemie and needed specialized care. She "stumped everyone" on the NICU team when she wouldn't nurse or take a bottle, and just slept and slept and slept.

While Alta received neonatal care to address this challenge, her parents became "regulars" over the next two-and-a-half months.

"Our early days in the NICU were emotionally draining," said Alyson. "When I broke down in tears, Tavonny cried with me and told me about her own NICU experience. She was there to care for my baby. She didn't need to care about me, but she did."

Alyson further explained, "Tavonny went above and beyond to show true empathy. Her sweet words comforted me through a time when I felt scared and alone. We love Tavonny, and are thankful for all the things she did to make that hard time bearable."

Nurse Victoria also helped a lot. Alyson was very anxious about leaving her newborn in the NICU. To reassure her, Victoria offered to hold Alta whenever her mom wasn't there.

"Tyson is awesome too; really friendly and understanding," Alyson recalled. "He has a very positive outlook, was always smiling and making us feel at ease." Thanks to the constant, expert care provided by the NICU clinical staff, Alta survived the precarious first months of her life. Now, she is home with her parents and continues to grow stronger every day.

"She is on track developmentally, and she"s the happiest baby ever," Alyson said. "She is always smiling and has no idea the trouble she caused in the NICU!"

Alyson and her husband are now part of the distinctive, global group of parents who will always consider NICU clinicians as part of their extended family. When it comes to baby Alta, the feeling is definitely mutual among the NICU caregivers at Timpanogos Regional Hospital.

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