Two pre-term deliveries equal double the gratitude for one mom | Ascension

Two pre-term deliveries equal double the gratitude for one mom


While Johnna Ward and Isaac Hall are seven years apart in age, they have one thing in common – both received care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart.

Johnna had reached 22 weeks, 5 days, when her mother, Brittany, was rushed to Ascension Sacred Heart’s Maternity and Women’s Center because this little one was eager to meet the world way ahead of schedule. A fetus is considered viable at 24 weeks, so the goal for Brittany was to make it two more weeks and one day. To reach that goal, she had to alleviate pressure on her cervix by positioning her head lower than her body.

“I had to lay upside down in the hospital bed and right at 24 weeks and 1 day they said, ‘We have to deliver this baby!’ I still don’t know how I did that! My mom actually had to feed me during that time,” she said.

Brittany underwent an emergency C-section, and Johnna was born at 1 lb., 8 oz. Tiny Johnna had a long journey ahead of her. She spent five months – 174 days to be exact, her mother recalled – in the NICU.

Seeing Johnna today at age 8, one would never guess that she had such a perilous start in life. “She loves to sing and dance and play with her dolls,” said Brittany, who added that Johnna initially had some developmental delays, but she has since caught up in her development.

Johnna’s brother, Isaac, was born at 36 weeks, 4 days, weighing in at 6 lbs., 2 oz. He spent one week in the NICU. “He had some feeding problems at first, but now you can’t stop him from eating!” said Brittany.

Brittany and her husband, Isaac, are extremely grateful to the doctors, nurses and staff at Ascension Sacred Heart Pensacola and Studer Family Children’s Hospital. “They made us feel like family and like they were in our corner,” Brittany said.

The Hall family appreciates that the team was direct and gave the family the facts about each situation, but the team also was very compassionate. In fact, the family formed a special bond as a result of their experience. “We are still friends with one of Johnna's nurses on social media and we see her in person as well.”

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  • To learn how to get personalized pregnancy care from Ascension Sacred Heart in Northwest Florida, click here