Tiny Miracles: The Parker Family
Amy Parker was due to give birth to her first child on Valentine’s Day 2004. She and her husband, Joel, were anticipating an easy pregnancy, but to their surprise Amy went into labor 14 weeks early and was admitted to Mercy. Here, her care team did all they could to delay labor, even for a few days. On October 25, 2003, weighing just 1 pound, 14 ounces, Edward “Ed” Nelson Parker was born. The tiny baby was quickly taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where he would spend the next three months of his young life. That time was an emotional roller coaster for the Parker family.
“We were so attached to this tiny, helpless, little baby,” Amy says, tearfully. “Some mornings, he’d be stable but by afternoon he’d be dangerously ill again.” The Parkers found much needed guidance and support in Mercy’s NICU doctors, nurses and staff. “I can’t speak highly enough of them,” says Amy. “I don’t think we would have gotten through it without them. They were optimistic but realistic at the same time.”
During his stay, baby Ed underwent heart surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center, affiliated with Mercy. As soon as he was stable, Ed returned to Mercy for the remainder of his recovery. As he grew stronger, a nurse reminded Amy to prepare his room at home. “It was an exhilarating moment for Joel and me because we knew she wouldn’t have said that unless she was sure Ed would be okay.”
Ed is now a happy, healthy eight-year-old with lots of interests including playing outdoors, reading books – especially the Harry Potter series – and video games. He and his sister, Kate, who was also born at Mercy, enjoy hikes through Patapsco State Park with their parents. Ed is also curious about his precarious first few months of life. “He’s keenly aware of the NICU at Mercy and the doctors and nurses who took care of him,” Amy says. “He recently read an article about our family’s story that appeared in a Mercy newsletter a few years ago. He asked if he was famous because it mentioned him so much. I told him he’s a popular guy at Mercy.” Amy and Joel remain deeply thankful to everyone who had a hand in the birth and care of both of their children. “I can never say enough kind words about Mercy,” Amy expresses in heartfelt gratitude.