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CCMH celebrates first anniversary of NICU

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LAWTON, Okla._ Comanche County Memorial Hospital is celebrating one year of happy and healthy babies.

Last July, the hospital opened their Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (N.I.C.U.) in partnership with the Oklahoma University College of Medicine, and they have already helped nurse nearly 300 newborns back to good health.

While those babies are now bigger, stronger and healthier, none of the families in attendance at a celebration event Tuesday evening forget the days or weeks following their child's birth.

On Dec. 2, 2013, Ashley Ghrayyeb wasn't prepared to go into labor, but her daughter Molly was ready to see the world six weeks early.

“She was tiny; tinier than they even expected,” says Ghrayyeb.

Born at just three pounds, six ounces, little Molly was admitted to the N.I.C.U., spending two weeks in an incubator with a feeding tube and connected to a heart monitor.

“We were pretty scared; that was a scary time for us,” recalls Ghrayyeb.

Before it would get better, the family received more devastating news from doctors. Molly's brain had begun bleeding and was starting to affect scar tissue. Molly was rushed to OU Children’s Hospital where she underwent a four-hour brain surgery.

“If they hadn't had caught it then she probably wouldn't have made it,” says Mrs. Ghrayyeb.

Finally, after 28 long days battling Molly’s sometimes weakening condition, the family brought her home. Now, six months later, they say they're forever grateful for a N.I.C.U. close to home at CCMH.

“The convenience of being here really makes a big difference,” says Daniel Ghrayyeb, Molly’s father.

Dr. Arlen Foulks, medical director of the CCMH N.I.C.U, says they've been able to help more than 290 babies from across southwest Oklahoma. That number far surpassed their original expectations.

“A majority of those babies would have gone up to the city or those parents would have to go a longer distance to see their baby on a daily basis,” says Dr. Foulks.

Families like the Ghrayyeb’s who say instead of being far a part, they spent the first two weeks of Molly’s life making memories.

“The first time we held her, and the first time that we changed her diaper, and fed her a bottle, and we fell in love with her; we became a family in the N.I.C.U.,” says Mrs. Ghrayyeb.

Molly, now seven months old, is 100 percent healthy. Doctors say, because of the big success this first year, they’re already looking at the possibility of an expansion.

 

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