Baylee spent the next 78 days in the NICU at Ruby Memorial Hospital under close watch and accompanied by a rollercoaster of trials and tribulations. The first two weeks of Baylee’s life were spent with ventilator support because her lungs were too immature to sustain life outside the womb. Early on, Baylee displayed her independent nature when she extubated herself and “graduated” to C-pap. The next 6 weeks were spent with the titration of her C-pap settings and the dedicated care of the staff to support her growth. Baylee endured three rounds of medication in attempt to close the PDA. Preparing for surgery, a final echo was completed and the family was relieved that the PDA had closed on its own. Multiple tests were performed on a regular basis including eye exams for retinopathy of prematurity, ventricular bleeding in the brain, chest x-rays to measure lung development and GI studies for reflux. Through the grace of family, friends, strangers, NICU staff and the March of Dimes, Baylee was and continues to be a survivor. Against all odds, she continued to grow at her own pace. The final hurdles before her coming home were learning to suck, gaining weight and, finally, weaning off of the oxygen therapy.
Finally, on January 10, 2005, Baylee was brought through the front door of her home in Cumberland, Maryland. The March of Dimes has meant life for Baylee. Baylee and her parents have been walking in March for Babies for years and are forever grateful for the research conducted and the support provided by the March of Dimes.