Everett Williams has come a long way from the fragile 1-pound, 12-ounce baby born at just 24-weeks gestation. Today at almost 4 years old, he loves to play with his sister and read books with his parents.
All this from a child who had less than a 50% chance of survival at birth.
“He was the tiniest miracle I’ve ever seen,” said his dad, Landon.
Everett was moved to Le Bonheur’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in 2017 where a team of pediatric specialists were ready to do whatever it took to give Everett a chance at life. Every day was a battle — Nicole and Landon even prepared to say goodbye to their son.
Tiny Everett faced a number of obstacles: ruptured blood vessels in the brain, breathing issues and severe bowel and intestinal issues.
The neonatologists at Everett’s delivery hospital had also discovered a
PDA, a medical condition in which a part of the heart — the ductus arteriosus — fails to close after birth.
At just 34 days old, Le Bonheur Interventional Cardiologist Shyam Sathanandam, MD, successfully closed it with a transcatheter device — performing a delicate cardiac procedure on the 2 ½-pound baby.
During Everett’s months in the NICU, his parents were very involved in the process and developed a great
comfort level with their nursing team. They knew Everett just as well as us, said Landon.
“We felt the family-centered care focus,” said Landon. “The medical care team wanted to hear our input, questions and concerns and that has been so important to us.”
Today, Everett has made great strides from the tiny NICU baby that Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Medical Director Ajay Talati, MD, treated. “It is really exciting to see Everett today, growing up to be a happy, expressive and interactive boy,” said Talati.
Le Bonheur is truly the upper echelon of care for Everett and so many others. To be able to receive quality care from a variety of specialists who understand our son’s medical history — in one location — is truly a blessing for our family
“He has come a long way from the very critically ill pre-term baby I treated, who needed multiple surgeries and was even discharged home with a planned surgery in a few weeks.”
Everett endured 11 more surgeries in the NICU for other conditions and spent 272 days at Le Bonheur, before being cleared to head home with several medical lines to help him eat, receive fluids and collect waste in his body.
Everett has continued to receive care at Le Bonheur, undergoing 17 total surgeries including two to
correct vision issues. Today, he still relies on a G-tube for feeding and is closely monitored for his Short Bowel Syndrome.
Everett receives comprehensive care from several hospital specialists; he visits his gastrointestinal team every two months and has regular speech, physical and occupational therapy sessions. He also sees the palliative care team and has weekly home visits from a nurse.
“Le Bonheur is truly the upper echelon of care for Everett and so many others,” said Landon. “To be able to receive quality care from a variety of specialists who understand our son’s medical history — in one location — is truly a blessing for our family.”
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