Baby Jackson was born just over 24 weeks gestation when his parents were traveling through Indiana to pick up their two sons from Spring Break at Grandparents in Kansas. He was born at a local small hospital and then picked up by the Neonatal ICU team of St Vincent. He was given only 10-20% chance of surviving.
He weighed less than a can of pop. Jackson showed he’s a fighter and has continued to live with the great care of NICU at St Vincents. He has had multiple set backs but finally weaned off the vent and was ready to travel via air ambulance back to their home in Buffalo. Even though the mom works for the insurance company- they wouldn’t approve the flight and the awesome compassion of St Vincent Foundation stepped in to team up with Grace on Wings to get this family reunited.
Amazingly when I first called for NICU volunteers for this flight, unknowingly the two that signed up happened to be the ones that originally transported him to St V: RT Kim and RN Katie! Out of all the stress and struggles the mom has been through, she said the flight “was the one thing she didn’t have to worry about.”
In hopes that we would eventually need an Isolette for a premature infant flight, we asked for donations last Christmas for a “baby pod.” With the generous donations that were given, we were able to purchase the pod and also the $150 disposable warmers it used.
It arrived a few days before Jackson’s flight and I couldn’t help but decorate it with lamb stickers and Jesus loves me stickers. Hal said it looked more like a torpedo than a baby bed.
We arrived with the ground team at St V neonatal ICU and mom and baby Jackson at only 31weeks gestation-6weeks old were ready to go. He was still only 1kg-small enough to fit in a sock 🙂
We put baby ear phones on him and the hot pack under him and snuggled him in for the trip. Our monitor leads and oxygen have a small port that they fit through the baby pod and the pod safety belts onto our cot. He would occasionally do the “touchdown” arm dance with the bumps on the road but seemed comfortable. We had no issues in flight except some cloudy cold and windy weather in Buffalo.
We are so glad to get Jackson “our little torpedo baby” finally home to be near his family and we pray he will continue to grow and finally get home to his own bed soon! I’m not sure if mom is a confessed believer of Christ but on Jackson’s website she has pictures of our aircraft door “Showing Christ’s Love Through Aviation” and also a cross we have on board of the verse Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord…”
Thanks for great first preemie flight by NICU team of Kim and Katie, to Dr Jim and Hal and to flight following by Chelsea.