Bryan Health discharges youngest-born surviving infant in hospital history

Reece was discharged from the NICU at Bryan Health in Lincoln on Nov. 2, she is the...
Reece was discharged from the NICU at Bryan Health in Lincoln on Nov. 2, she is the youngest-born surviving patient in hospital history.(Bryan Medical Center)
Published: Dec. 13, 2021 at 12:41 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - Bryan Health officials report that a baby named Reece, the youngest-born surviving patient in Bryan Health history, was cared for and discharged from the neonatal intensive care unit on Nov. 2.

Hospital authorities say that Megan Phipps and her boyfriend Dillon were pregnant with twins and expecting a normal course of care with a mid-October due date, based on her two previous births.

But according to doctors, Phipps was diagnosed with uterine didelphys — a rare condition in which a woman grows two uteruses instead of one. Bryan Health reports she conceived a baby in both uteruses.

Doctors say that just over five months into her pregnancy, Phipps went into pre-term labor and despite doctor efforts, her progress was unable to be slowed down. Bryan Health reports that on Saturday, June 12, Reece was born at 22.5 weeks gestation and was delivered over three months premature, weighing about one pound. According to doctors, Reece’s twin sister, Riley, was born the day before but unfortunately did not survive. Riley passed away 12 days after she was delivered.

The NICU team at Bryan Health says Reece received almost a dozen blood transfusions, a central line for one month, and was on a ventilator for 45 days. Doctors say it is common for premature infants to deal with serious medical issues in the brain and lungs but Reece progressed slowly and did not have any major complications.

On Tuesday, Nov. 2, Reece was discharged home and weighed a healthy 8 lbs, five ounces, according to doctors. Bryan Health says Reece spent a total of 144 days in the NICU — the longest NICU stay in hospital history.

Hospital officials say that an ornament of a baby in angel wings carrying Riley’s ashes was hanging above her crib for most of the time. Her big sister was watching over and caring for Reece from above.

Bryan Health says the care of baby Reece has been recognized on a large scale. According to the Tiniest Babies Registry at the University of Iowa, Reece is the 26th baby worldwide to be born before 23 weeks gestation and survive. Additionally, the NICU at Bryan Health is just the seventh facility in the United States to discharge a baby born under 23 weeks gestation.

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