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Meet Olivia Boyce...
The Boyce family is no stranger to The Children’s Hospital at Providence’s Newborn Intensive Care Unit. Before baby Olivia, their first child, Sebastian, was born unexpectedly premature at 31 weeks and their lives changed in more ways than they thought possible.
Sebastian entered the world on April 9, 2012 weighing just 3 lbs 15 oz. Mom, Kristan, knew she might go into labor a little early because she is so petite, but not even her doctor expected Sebastian’s arrival to happen a full two months early. Before little Sebastian could go home he needed to pass multiple tests by maintaining a healthy body temperature as well as breathing and eating on his own. This development took some time. Sebastian spent a total of 59 days in the NICU. This time was extremely challenging for the family trying to juggle life with a new baby in the NICU, but it also connected the Boyce family to a community of Providence caregivers and other NICU parents.
"It was the best, worst time of my life. It was incredibly difficult, but the NICU staff was amazing." -Kristan
Kristan and Robert soon learned that they were not alone in this struggle. The support they received from NICU nurses and doctors was instrumental in coping with the fear and anxiety of being the parent of a preemie. The parents of other infants in the unit shared their joy, accomplishments, setbacks and letdowns right alongside them. After Sebastian’s discharge the Boyce’s became incredibly active volunteers by helping new parents get adjusted to life in the NICU and even participating in the design process of the new NICU unit.
"If Providence wasn’t here we probably wouldn’t have made the decision to have a second baby." -Robert
When Sebastian grew a little older and the time came to think about having a second child, the Boyce’s NICU experience was instrumental in the decision making process. Kristan and Robert knew the likelihood of having another premature birth was high and they would likely spend more time in the NICU. Yet the care they received with Sebastian made them confident their child would be in the best of hands. The Boyce’s moved to Anchorage from their home in Wasilla 23 weeks into Kristan’s second pregnancy, so they would be close to Providence for the birth. Kristan went into pre-term labor at 28 weeks and spent three days in the Prenatal Unit. She spent the following seven and a half weeks on bed rest fighting off the contractions that just kept coming.
Robert and Kristan's second baby, Olivia, was born just recently on January 18, 2015. She was 35 weeks and weighed 4 lbs 15 oz. Right now the Boyce family enjoys the amenities of the new NICU unit they helped design!
"We made the point to come back here and I think that speaks volumes." -Kristan
When you give to Children’s Miracle Network you help patients just like Oliva and her family receive compassionate care right here in Alaska at The Children’s Hospital at Providence. Please use the form below and donate now!