Chloe and Beau Vignes thought their pregnancy was fairly normal, until Chloe’s 30-week prenatal check-up, when they found out their son – Baby Ripley – was not on track for growth. Two weeks later, at the 32-week appointment, Chloe’s doctor performed an ultrasound and announced Chloe needed to be admitted right away. Baby Ripley was not stable, his heartbeat was not strong, and the doctor was concerned about his lung development. That very night, Chloe’s doctors decided she needed an emergency C-section. Ripley was born weighing only 2 lbs., 10 oz. and 15 inches long.
“I watched the nurses working,” says Beau, “and I could sense the tension in the air. Then, I breathed a sigh of relief when one of the nurses started dancing.”
Ripley emerged crying, which made the team instantly relieved, given the concern over his lung development. Ripley was immediately transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of The Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart in one of the hospital’s neonatal transport ambulances.
“It’s hard to imagine what we would have done without the NICU,” says Beau. “They were extremely accommodating and supportive as we were dealing with a brand-new experience and challenge in our lives.”
Ripley stayed in the NICU for 28 days before he was discharged home. “Our experience at Sacred Heart was remarkable,” says Chloe. “They just welcomed us with loving arms. They are still a part of our family today. We still do a lot with the NICU to support the current NICU families who are in the same situation that we were.”
As a way to give back to The Children’s Hospital and support other parents with NICU babies, Chloe has served on the planning committees for the Sacred Heart Foundation’s annual Preemie Cup and The Children’s Hospital’s annual NICU reunion.
Today, Ripley is a healthy and happy little boy, excited to start kindergarten! He loves drawing, soccer and T-ball.