“There is something tough about sitting down and discussing Rory with the same doctors who saved my own life more than 30 years ago,” reflected Rory’s dad, Andrew. His own fragile beginnings were well in the past when he and his wife, Megan, started their own journey in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Morristown Medical Center with their son, Rory.
Rory’s unexpected arrival at 26 weeks gestation, weighing only 2 lb. 3 oz., was frightening. His parents quickly found ways to bond with and care for their son. “We spent our days, nights, and weekends in Room 26. The NICU became our home,” recalls Megan. “My whole life as a mother was spent in the hospital. I remember feeling overwhelmed, like I signed up for a job for which I was not qualified.” Megan and Andrew praise the NICU staff for supporting, guiding, and preparing them so that they could care for and parent their fragile baby. “Holding his hand through the isolette, reading to him, waiting for a ‘good day’ so that we could hold him skin-to-skin, were all ways we connected,” Megan recalls.
Over Rory’s 150 days in Sam’s NICU, there were many challenges and hurdles for him and his family to overcome. Quite early in his hospitalization, Rory became critically ill when be developed an intestinal perforation requiring emergent surgery. Providing adequate nutrition and sustaining appropriate growth became challenging. “We celebrated every gram of Rory’s weight gain,” remembers Megan. Rory ultimately went home with a gastrostomy tube for several months. “The staff trained us so well to care for the G-tube that we fell into a routine pretty quickly,” states Megan. Rory gradually transitioned to bottle feeds and food, and is definitely not a picky eater today!
Megan and Andrew are so proud of Rory and the progress he makes each day. They feel that spending time in the NICU has made them more conscientious as parents, and also taught them to not stress over the little things. They are delighted and positive about who he is today, and his future.
And his Dad just wants to add, “Thank you for me, Thank you for Rory. Thank you for us!”