Dawson.jpgWhen Lisa Jones’s pregnancy was identified as high-risk at her 20-week ultrasound appointment, matters only worsened before she felt any glimpse of positivity. Lisa’s obstetrician discovered that her baby had a cleft lip and palate; then her baby was diagnosed with intrauterine growth restriction—he was not growing as he should. This meant Jones would be delivering a premature baby.

Lisa and Dawson show how pure grit along with tender NICU care can make all the difference.

At a routine checkup at Tucson Medical Center, the doctor discovered that Jones’ baby had dangerously low amniotic fluid. Jones was immediately induced and had an emergency cesarean-section. Dawson was born six weeks premature. Because of his growth restriction, he was much smaller than most premature babies—only 3 pounds 6 ounces. When he was born, he went straight to the NICU and stayed there for 31 days.

Jones reflected on the month she and Dawson spent in the NICU:

"It was so incredibly stressful, but it was amazing to meet and work with the doctors, nurses and speech therapists at TMC. After the first few days once things started to settle down, I realized he was going to be fine—he was perfectly healthy. It just became a matter of Dawson learning how to eat and get bigger. The nurses, and especially the speech therapists were amazing. I learned so much before he was released so by the time we were home, I felt comfortable and confident with him. In that month in the NICU I had given him baths, changed diapers, burped him, fed him. I was so used to taking care of him so it wasn’t as stressful to take him on my own."

Jones said her time at TMC was nothing but a positive experience. “In the NICU, the doctors and nurses were excellent—very educated and experienced. They had a lot of confidence in what they were doing, which was really important to me," said Jones, adding that "the speech therapists were just awesome. They did such a good job.”

Jones also credits Dawson’s recovery to his own strength.

“He’s just a tough little dude,” she laughed.