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One year after doctors told Sabrina McDowell she most likely would never be able to have children, she and her husband, Nicky, experienced the first of many miracles to come. Sabrina learned she was pregnant.

Overjoyed with the news, Sabrina expected her pregnancy to progress normally and began to plan for her baby's arrival. But complications developed at 27 weeks that resulted in a prolonged stay at Freeman West and eventually led to an emergency C-section. The McDowell's son, Brycen, came into the world 10 weeks early on July 10, 2010, weighing only 2 pounds, 15 ounces.

During the next six weeks, Brycen received lifesaving care in Freeman Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Thanks to generous charitable gifts from the community, doctors treating Brycen had access to cutting-edge technology. Sabrina remembers how frightened she felt the first time she saw Brycen in the NICU. "He had tubes everywhere and looked so tiny and helpless. We felt very overwhelmed. But the doctors and nurses constantly offered reassurance and kept us well-informed every step of the way. We couldn't have asked for better care for Brycen," said Sabrina.

Several months after his release from the hospital, Brycen needed oxygen therapy around-the-clock, as well as a sleep apnea monitor. Today, thanks to generous gifts from the community and the excellent care he received, the only treatment he requires is monthly shots to boost and protect his immune system.

Make a donation to help children like Brycen.

Freeman Foundation
931 E. 32nd St.
Joplin, MO 64804
417.347.6557

Mailing address
1102 W. 32nd Street
Joplin, MO 64804