East Texas families join reunion of NICU staff

East Texas families join reunion of NICU staff
Photo: KTRE
Photo: KTRE

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - For parents Amy and Steve Donahoe, everything was going according to plan during their pregnancy almost four years ago, until the unexpected happened.

"The last ultrasound that we had, the umbilical cord was lose around his neck," Amy said.

Their son, Caleb, would be arriving in just 11 days, but his heart rate was dropping, so doctors decided to perform a C-section.

After the delivery, things got even more challenging.

"He had no heartbeat. He wasn't breathing at all. His Apgar score was a zero. He was essentially a still born," Amy said.

Amy described that moment saying she was feeling very scared.

"It's very helpless feeling because you can't do anything it. All of sudden his life was in the hands of God and these nurses," Amy said.

Including a nurse who was part of the team at Woodland Height Medical Center to save little Caleb's life.

That nurse along with other families celebrated a milestone Sunday. Four years ago, the Neonatal Intensive Unit opened its door to families. Dozens of families across East Texas came to Lufkin for a reunion.

"We work with them through their very hard time, through their struggling time and it's very stressful for us. By the time they've recovered and doing well, they go home and we know that they are going to be ok," said Laura Usleton, a nurse.

As for the Donahoe's, they're forever grateful for the life of their precious son who will soon turn four.

"Honestly, he wouldn't be here today if it weren't for the NICU," Amy said.

Since the opening, the NICU has delivered more than 400 babies.

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