28-week preemie grows into adorable, healthy toddler

Sep 04, 2014

Mauricio Ramirez and Paola Sumoza of Salem are delighting in the challenge of keeping up with their two-year-old daughter, Itzayana—or Itzy for short.

In Aug. 2012, Itzy arrived three months early, weighing just 2 pounds, 5 ounces. Her lungs had not fully developed. Itzy spent the next two months at Salem Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

“At first, I was very worried,” said Ramirez. “Itzy was born very little and you’re unsure of what’s going to happen.”

“It was a blessing to have the doctors and the nurses take care of my daughter at the (Salem Hospital) NICU,” said Sumoza. “I told the nurses they’re like angels. They are angels for my family and for all the babies that are in the NICU.”

Sumoza still keeps in touch with Itzy’s doctors and nurses. She also became part of the NICU’s parent action committee. “They provided so much, that I wanted to give back to them,” said Sumoza. She also volunteers as a parent mentor and spends time in the NICU to help other parents.

Salem Health produced a short video about the inspiring family, and posted it on YouTube at this link: http://youtu.be/Dib5_2Vaxqs.

The family plans to attend the 2014 Salem Hospital NICU Reunion on Sunday, Sept. 7 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Pringle City Park, 606 Church St. NE, in Salem. NICU families will have the opportunity to see their favorite NICU staff members and meet other NICU parents.

Salem Hospital is part of Salem Health, along with West Valley Hospital, Willamette Health Partners and other affiliated health care organizations offering exceptional care to people in and around Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley. Salem Hospital received the Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ from Healthgrades in 2014, placing it among the top 5 percent of more than 4,500 hospitals nationwide. “Like” us on facebook.com/salemhealth; follow us on Twitter: @salemhealth; and view us at youtube.com/salemhealth.

Salem Health

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