When Ashley Schlossberg of Pensacola was 24 weeks pregnant, she was diagnosed with a severe case of preeclampsia, a condition that causes the expectant mother’s blood pressure to rise and can be fatal to both mother and baby. Ashley was told she would need to have a Cesarean section. At 25 weeks, Lauren was born weighing 1 lb., 5 oz. and measuring just 12-1/2” long. “Think of a 20 oz. can of Coca-Cola,” says Ashley to describe how Lauren appeared at birth.

Lauren was admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at The Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart, and Ashley and her husband, Scott, went home without their baby. “It was a very dark time for us,” says Ashley, who notes that “I did everything right during my pregnancy,” but she still developed the condition that affects 5 percent to 8percent of pregnant women.

Little Lauren spent from July to December of that year in the care of the highly trained neonatologists and nurses who specialize in the care of these tiny babies. Like many premature babies, Lauren experienced some developmental delays, but after “Early Steps” interventional therapy, Lauren shows no signs of delay in development for her age.“The reason she is doing so well is because of the doctors and nurses at Sacred Heart,” says Ashley. Today, Lauren is doing great and playing soccer, and she and her mother have participated in Radiothon to raise funds for The Children’s Hospital for the past five years.