Phoebe Putney Health System

06/18/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/18/2024 08:36

Albany Family Celebrates Twins’ First Birthday

Albany, GA | June 18, 2024 - Becca Miller always understood, more than most people, the importance of having access to a quality neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). For six years, she was the Children's Miracle Network (CMN) Coordinator at Phoebe.

"A lot of my job was fundraising for the NICU and meeting families impacted by the NICU. I met a lot of families and heard so many stories about the NICU and the lives it saved," she said.

Becca now serves in a regional role for CMN, overseeing nine hospitals in the southeast. Even with all her NICU knowledge, she gained a whole new appreciation for Phoebe's NICU team when they saved the lives of her babies.

"It's ironic, because I would often tell people, you never know when you might need our local NICU. I never thought I would need those services," Becca said.

That changed on June 18th of last year. Becca was pregnant with twins, Mary Jones and Wiley. "We had prayed for kids for many years and were grateful and excited. I had a really good pregnancy. I felt great until 33 weeks," she said.

After a few days of not feeling well and enduring intense pain, Becca went into labor about six weeks before her due date. "I was nervous, but I had met so many families who had babies at 25 weeks, so I wasn't worried," she said.

In the delivery room, problems quickly developed. Mary Jones's delivery stalled. When she was finally born, she wasn't breathing and had suffered a serious brain bleed.

"The NICU team immediately swept her up and intubated her. Then, the nurse said, 'it's time to push for brother.' It was just an extremely terrifying time," Becca said.

Wiley's birth was less complicated, but he also had breathing issues and needed NICU care.

"I don't know that they would be alive if that specialized team hadn't been there in the room. They were already there before we even knew there were complications. You can't put a value on that. I can't imagine someone not having that," Becca said.

The babies, especially Mary Jones had some difficult days in the NICU. "We would get a lot of bad news and scary news. One day the feeding tube would come out, and the next day they would have to put it back in" Becca recalled. "The staff was always there listening and supporting. They were there every step of the way. They're like family."

Thanks to the expert care of the NICU team, the babies were able to go home together after spending a month in the NICU.

"I praise God that we were in a hospital that has that kind of NICU and those experts," Becca's husband Patrick said. "It went from being our worst nightmare to our happiest dream to see how those babies were taken care of. The team gave us an ultimate sense of comfort."

Patrick says there's no way to fully express his gratitude to that team. "I just smile thinking about them. Their approach and their demeanor and the comfort they provide are amazing. They get the parents involved and are there to answer every single question."

By the end of 2024, the NICU will move into a brand new unit in the Phoebe Trauma & Critical Care Tower currently under construction on Phoebe's main campus. Once the current NICU space is renovated, Phoebe's NICU will be more than four times its current size. The Phoebe Foundation is raising money to help offset the construction and equipment costs of the new facility. You can donate by visiting www.supportphoebe.org or by calling the Foundation at 229-312-4483.

The Millers are excited about the future of Phoebe's NICU and how the expansion will help serve more families like theirs. As Mary Jones and Wiley celebrate their first birthdays, the twins are happy and healthy and hitting their developmental milestones. Becca and Patrick say they are blessed, and they couldn't be more grateful for the NICU team at Phoebe.

"They went so above and beyond," Becca said. "It was just a beautiful thing to see."