Looking at baby Ayden, you would never know the fight he has already faced in his short life. Now a little over a year old, he is a happy—and smiley—baby who enjoys playing with his older brother.
Ayden was born early at 23 weeks gestation, weighing only 1 pound 11 ounces. Immediately after his birth he was taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Saint Marys Hospital in Rochester. Born with a small hole in his heart, Ayden was given ibuprofen to help repair it.
“He had all sorts of lines, wires, and tubes coming out of him. It was surreal seeing such a tiny person have so much attached to his body,” recalls his mother, Nicole. “It was a journey we never saw coming.”
When one of his nasogastric tubes rubbed a tear in his gastric lining, he began to lose blood. In order to replenish the blood that was lost and to help him gain strength, Ayden was given six blood transfusions. After a total of 112 days spent in the NICU, Ayden was able to go home and grow to be a happy and healthy baby. The only major side effect is that he now needs glasses, due to the effects of an eye disease he had as a premature baby. Otherwise, you would never know that he was a micro preemie.
Ayden’s family saw first-hand the importance that blood product plays in helping premature babies. In honor of World Prematurity Day, the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program will be hosting the Second Annual Pints for Preemies Blood Donation Challenge. Our goal for this year is simple—to bring in more lifesaving blood donations and raise awareness of
World Prematurity Day on November 17.
The challenge is running from September 1 through November 17. To participate, simply stop in at the front desk at one of our two locations and fill out a challenge sheet.
How to Donate
For more information about donating blood or how to set up a blood drive in Olmsted County, call (507) 284-4475 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit our web page http://www.mayoclinic.org/donateblood.