Giving Hope and Life to Big Miracles

 As the largest neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) under one roof in the United States, a significant number of women with high-risk pregnancies in Central Florida are referred to Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies. Chelsey Voogt was one of these moms.

Only 20 weeks into her pregnancy with twins, Chelsey found herself confined to bed rest at Winnie Palmer Hospital.

The next 24 days were full of both joy and grief. At 22 weeks, Chelsey’s body could no longer support both of the twins and the first – a little girl – was born. Due to complications of her extremely premature birth, Mila Marie passed away only four days later.

For the next 11 days, Chelsey and her caregivers fought to save the life of Mila’s twin brother, by allowing him as much time as possible inside the womb. After struggling with contractions for three days and waking up with a fever, Chelsey, along with the team at Winnie Palmer Hospital, made the decision to induce labor and continue fighting for her son’s life after birth. Having just lost Mila, giving birth again was terrifying for Chelsey and her husband.

On October 15, 2015, Jax Jayden was born at 1 lb, 4.8 oz. Through the dedicated care of his parents, nurses and physicians, baby Jax continued to grow and thrive in the NICU. After 104 days of setbacks and, most importantly, triumphs, Jax went home with his mom and dad this past January.

Chelsey and Jax recently returned to the NICU to visit with their Winnie Palmer Hospital family. “We will forever be grateful to the staff of Winnie Palmer Hospital for doing everything they could for our daughter Mila and for Jax,” Chelsey explains. “They gave our son life. No words could ever convey how truly thankful we are.”

Baby Jax, is pictured reuniting with team members and Dr. Gregor Alexander, Jax spent 104 days in the NICU at Winnie Palmer Hospital. 

Are you the parent or family member of a NICU graduate? Reunite with your caregivers at this year’s Walk For Winnie, a fundraising walk to support the needs of critically-ill babies at the Alexander Center for Neonatology at Winnie Palmer Hospital.