Local family pushes through prematurity

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – “Your baby is premature.”

Those are scary words for any new parent.

But it’s the reality for 15 million couples worldwide every year.

Of those preemie babies, about a million will die.

That’s according to the March of Dimes, an organization dedicated to helping families facing an extended hospital stay.

6 News Chivon Kloepfer introduces us to one such couple, from Grand Ledge, who says their daughter is alive today because of March of Dimes and Sparrow Hospital.

“Oh, we’re going to bring a baby into the world. It was very exciting for us.”

But the excitement the Moreno family experienced was short lived after hearing at 20 weeks their baby may suffer the same fate.

“Congratulations, you’re having a baby girl. But, we have a lot of concerns. And right then and there, it was like, our hearts sunk. I looked at Mike and I could just see his eyes. “They said that she had a lot of spots on her heart, she was measuring extremely small. They couldn’t figure out why. They said that she had the markings on her heart resembled down syndrome,” said Meghan Moreno, Lillian Joy’s mother.

After that appointment many more followed test after test, 10 weeks later another ultra sound and even more shocking news.

At the very end, the specialists said to me, “it’s time to have your baby today.”

“I was actually at work and she called me and said that, ‘I’m on my way to Sparrow for an emergency C-section.’ So we uhh, I dropped everything I could and got to Sparrow as quick as possible,” said Michael Moreno, Lillian Joy’s father.

A little over an hour later, Lillian was born; two months early and weighing just 1 pound, 6 ounces.

“When she came out, and she was breathing and crying, it was, it was a feeling that I don’t think I can explain,” said Meghan Moreno.

“To see a human being at that small in your hand, it was just, unbelievable,” said Michael Moreno.

And a bit of a miracle.

Because during the delivery the doctors prepared the family for the worst.

But while Lillian was out of the womb, she wasn’t out of the woods.

She would spend the next four months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with Sparrow doctors and nurses providing around-the-clock care.

Fast forward to today, just shy of her second birthday. The Moreno family takes it a day at a time, one doctor’s appointment at a time.

But at this time Lillian is laughing, learning and loving.

“Without March of Dimes, without the health care that Sparrow Hospital, I mean our child would not be here, there’s no question,” said Meghan Moreno.

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