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NICU babies at Children’s Hospital transfer to new facility

WOWT 6 News 10 p.m. Sunday newscast
Published: Aug. 29, 2021 at 2:59 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - It was a busy day at Children’s Hospital as babies were transferred from their old NICU to their new home at the Hubbard Center.

The new unit has the same focus of caring for babies and their families.

“This little mobile, it’s like the simplest little thing but she, if you want a smile out of her, you can just shake this around and she’ll give you one,” said Ashley Hoffman, Isla’s mom.

Baby Isla was the center of attention today. She’s used to having all eyes on her, living at Children’s Hospital NICU for some time now.

“Isla’s a twin and so at one of our ultrasounds, we found out that there was something going on with baby B. Knew she was going to need a little extra care,” said Ashley.

When the twins were born, doctors found Isla had problems with her GI tract. She needed surgery right away and then another and another.

Her loving parents Ashley and Adam have been with their little girl every step of the way.

“Kind of a rollercoaster of emotions. Just kind of not knowing what her future holds was always kind of hard and scary,” said Ashley.

But there’s some good news today. Isla is the first baby to be transferred to the new Hubbard center.

The NICU is finally in the same building as the rest of the Children’s Hospital after more than two decades.

“Coming back across the street, while it seems like maybe not a big deal, is very symbolic because we are reuniting with the rest of the doctors and nurses who care for children in the rest of the hospital. So it’s really important for us because we’ve been really isolated for so many years so it’s important for us to get back together with the rest of our team,” said Dr. Nicole Birge, Medical Director of the NICU.

While moving across the street seems like a simple task, there’s a lot of work that goes into moving the smallest and most fragile patients. Signs mark the transfer route as a team is dedicated to getting all 35 babies where they need to go safely.

“She is stable because she’s not on a ventilator, she’s not on oxygen so hers will be relatively fast compared to the other babies,” said Dr. Birge.

After a long trip through a few elevators and down numerous hallways, baby Isla and her parents have a new room to call their home away from home. One that offers more space for them to stay on long nights.

“We’re just very appreciative of everything they’ve done for us and our family over our stay. It’s just been incredible and comforting knowing that they have her best interests at all times. We never had to worry about anything,” said Adam Hoffman, Isla’s dad.

The Children’s NICU is the only level four NICU in the area, meaning they can offer the most advanced subspecialties and medical interventions in the region.

The Hubbard Center allows them to offer that care to even more babies.

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