Olivia's Story

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Nearly one year ago, little Olivia entered this world weighing only 1.9 pounds at birth. Now, she is a healthy little girl whose smile just lights up a room!

Olivia overcame many seemingly impossible obstacles and put up a valiant fight for her life. Her parents, Beth and Greg Ledbetter, are very grateful and have allowed us to tell their story.

“I am convinced there is no better place than Baptist,” said Beth. “The staff there became my closest friends. They saved my baby…along with God’s help. They genuinely cared for Olivia, for Greg, for me and our other family members. We love them all…everyone, at every level of care. I can’t say enough about the wonderful, loving care at Baptist.

Today, you can make a positive difference for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) babies and their families. You can share in their courageous fight for life. You can enable our provision of absolute best care for sick and premature newborns who need every possible advantage during their early, critical days.

A contribution to Baptist Health Foundation positions us to provide more premature babies with an amazing, lifesaving piece of technology known as the Giraffe OmniBed® – an innovative micro-environment that provides the necessities for a premature baby in one piece of equipment.

The Giraffe OmniBed® is both an incubator and a warmer. It features a built-in scale and controls for temperature, light, sound, and other stresses.  These beds are expensive, at approximately $50,000 each, and we need to add more of them to care for the “tiny patients” in our Level III NICU.

This is what a Giraffe OmniBed® meant to Olivia and her parents, Beth and Greg, from Brandon, Mississippi:

At 26 weeks of pregnancy, Beth, who suffered from high blood pressure, was growing sicker and sicker. Her kidneys were starting to shut down, so doctors decided it was time to deliver. Olivia was born 13 weeks early on December 10, 2013, weighing one pound, nine ounces.

“I heard Olivia’s tiny cry,” Beth remembers. “But I didn’t get to hold her as she was whisked off to be put on a ventilator.  I, too, was ill, and my husband was afraid he was going to lose both of us.”

As Beth improved, things seemed hopeful for Olivia until she coded (went into cardiac arrest) on her second day.  She was revived, but it was clear she had a very long way to go.  Her doctors told Beth that Olivia was truly in God’s hands as they were doing all they could for her.  It was touch and go for many weeks.  Olivia had heart surgery and several other procedures, then gradually began to show signs of improvement. “Olivia was such a strong little fighter,” Beth says of her daughter.

Like all premature babies, Olivia needed a quiet, calm environment. Her vital signs would change at the slightest noise or activity. That’s why the Giraffe OmniBed® was so critical for her care. It created a warm, safe place for her to live and grow, where skilled and caring neonatologists and nurses could closely monitor her.

“While she was in the Giraffe bed, I knew she was in a well-monitored, protected place.  It allowed me the incredible privilege of watching my baby grow and mature -- much like watching a caterpillar grow into a beautiful butterfly…and Olivia is truly beautiful.”

Now, Olivia weighs 15 pounds and simply lights up the room with her smile. She will not remember those first 106 days of life spent at Baptist Health Systems, but her parents will certainly never forget.

Your gift to Baptist Health Foundation will help us add more Giraffe OmniBeds® and support other programs that continue to make Mississippi Baptist Health Systems a Leader in Healthcare, Follower in Faith.

Please join others in donating today. Gifts of all sizes make a difference in the lives of our patients, and their families, each and every day.


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