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Meet Demetrius

  • Author: Demetrius B.
  • Date Submitted: Mar 29, 2021
  • Category: Philanthropy

“ Our care team was just awesome. The hardest thing is leaving your baby with people you don’t know,” Katherine’s voice cracked. “Having the nurses we had just made me feel better. They’re so knowledgeable and good, and we trusted them. I felt like they kept an incredible eye on him.”

Anadarko Family Says Thank You to The Children’s Hospital NICU Team for Happy Ending to Scary Journey for Premature Baby

Baby Demetrius prepares for homecoming following a nearly month-long journey in Oklahoma’s highest level NICU at OU Med Inc.

When Katherine found out she was pregnant in late 2019, she was overjoyed. She and her husband didn’t believe they could have children before they were eventually able to conceive the child they would refer to as their “miracle baby.”

But the Anadarko mother weathered a difficult pregnancy complicated by gestational diabetes and the demands of raising nine other biological and adopted children. As her blood pressure skyrocketed, it was clear the baby would be coming early. She and her husband set out to deliver at Comanche County Medical Center in Lawton.

Baby Demetrius arrived on Aug 18, and while his family knew he was a large baby, he seemed healthy initially until he began to show signs of respiratory distress and low blood sugar. Demetrius’ care team determined he needed an elevated level of critical care and transported him to The Children’s Hospital at OU Medicine, which has the highest level of NICU care in the state.

“That was very hard [when we were separated],” said Katherine. “Fortunately, my husband was able to go with the baby. It was scary, and it took me two days to get there. “I didn’t get to hold him until he was two days old. When I got him in my arms, all I felt was just relief.”

But little Demetrius’ fight was just beginning.

Once he arrived, the family was told Demetrius had a narrowing of the aortic arch after reviewing his first electrocardiogram (EKG). Care teams worked over the next several days to stabilize his blood sugar and regulate his oxygen.

“Our care team was just awesome. The hardest thing is leaving your baby with people you don’t know,” Katherine’s voice cracked. “Having the nurses we had just made me feel better. They’re so knowledgeable and good, and we trusted them. I felt like they kept an incredible eye on him.”

Once Demetrius was weaned off oxygen, a second EKG showed that the narrowing wasn’t as serious as originally thought and the family was relieved to hear no surgery would be needed.

“He’s not a fussy baby, and he’s so easy to take care of. Right now we’re working on him eating,” said Katherine. “Diabetic babies take a little longer to eat on their own.”

[quote from Dr. Sekar or member of NICU team about Demetrius or expert counsel on diabetic babies]

With nine excited brothers and sisters at home waiting for him to arrive, Demetrius is slowly working toward outpatient treatment and a happy homecoming.

As his parents reflect on his stressful first weeks of life, they turn a grateful heart to the care teams they credit with the wonderful gift of having a healthy child.

Katherine said, “It’s definitely hard to leave your sick baby with people you don’t know. The OU team was very comforting. We had to drive two hours roundtrip to see [him] each day, which was hard. And they offered us the baby cameras where we could see him while at home, and that was nice. It would’ve been a lot harder to not have these amenities. It would’ve added more stress and worry. I’m grateful we had those things. But mostly, I’m grateful for the nurses who are so good, who go above and beyond to interact with him. Thank you.”