Avery’s heart didn’t beat on its own for 20 minutes. She wasn’t willing to give up. Neither were we.
Avery Curry arrived quietly into this world, without a cry or even a breath. Her umbilical cord ruptured while she was still in the womb, depriving Avery’s body of oxygen. For nearly 20 minutes her heart did not beat on its own, so Freeman Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) staff performed CPR on her. Once a heartbeat was detected, NICU staff placed bags of ice around Avery’s head in an effort to protect her brain from further damage.
The only one of its kind in southwest Missouri, Freeman NICU provides specialized care for premature and critically ill newborns. Survival rates for infants less than three pounds have increased significantly as a result of the outstanding medical care provided by the Freeman NICU team. Thanks to a $1.3 million expansion funded by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in 2011, Freeman NICU expanded to 24 beds, allowing us to care for more babies like Avery.
Thanks to the immediate reactions of Freeman clinical staff, Avery’s parents took their baby girl home after three weeks. She was — and still is — a healthy child with no sign of the trauma her body endured.