Brycen Tran, born June 3, 2018, weighed less than four-fifths of a pound at birth, making him the smallest baby ever born at Huntington Hospital.
Nothing had prepared his parents for the premature arrival of their first child. Mom, HourLy Lim, had a seemingly normal pregnancy until she was diagnosed with extremely high blood pressure during a routine obstetrical check-up when she was just 24 weeks pregnant.
So grave was her condition that she was sent to her local hospital for further tests, but physicians there were unable to determine the cause of the problem. “Everything was unknown,” says HourLy. Then specialists told her that she would need to deliver her son or risk one or both of them not making it.
“I was so scared and anxious. I didn’t know if my baby would survive,” she says.
HourLy and her husband, Tony Tran, turned to Huntington Hospital, which offers our region’s only level-III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), for help. Not only was Brycen going to be born 16 weeks early, but ultrasound scans showed he was small for his gestational age. If all went well with his birth, he would need the special level of lifesaving care available here.
Brycen was born prematurely via cesarean section. As a micro preemie, he had significant health problems. His lungs were collapsed, requiring him to be on a ventilator to breathe. The blood vessels in his eyes were not completely formed and he had a heart murmur. “Every day was a roller coaster,” HourLy says, “but he was such a fighter.”
Over the 131 days Brycen spent in our NICU, he received expert treatment, including several surgeries, to resolve each of his complex needs. Then, after more than four months, he was ready to go home with his parents. “It took a while for us to leave the hospital,” HourLy says, “because we wanted to say goodbye and thank everyone personally.”
Brycen is doing well now. His eyes and lungs are healed. His heart murmur is gone. He rolls onto his back, holds his own bottle and is meeting all other important developmental milestones for his age. “I can never thank the doctors and staff enough for saving me and my son,” says HourLy. “They really do miracles at Huntington Hospital. We owe them everything.”