Milo was considered a micro-preemie. At his lowest, he weighed only 450 grams, earning him the nick-name of “the one-pound-miracle”. His brainstem and lungs were not fully formed. Tubes came out of every part of his tiny body as he lay in the incubator in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). On his third day of life, Anissa finally got to hold and kiss Milo. “Holding him skin to skin, after 3 days, was the first time I felt like he was really mine,” she says. When Anissa remembers how hard her son fought to stay live, she becomes emotional: ‘‘When you see your baby turn blue because his heart rate drops, those few minutes of trying to bring him back feel like a lifetime. You feel totally useless as the room fills up with professionals trying to save your baby.”
It took Milo a week to open his eyes. Anissa had not left his side. She did not leave the NICU for 6 weeks, until the staff reminded her she had to take care of herself too. When he was a week old, Anissa and Muqeet had a professional photo shoot done in order to capture some of these precious moments. “I was too scared to hope, and too scared to face reality,” she says.
For months, Milo was monitored closely and treated by world-class specialists in the NICU as he grew stronger and better. ”The staff became like family to us,” says Anissa. “These were the people I was surrounded by 24/7. I became totally attached and literally trusted them with everything that meant something to me.” As Muqeet, who was having a difficult time bonding with Milo explains, “the staff became my therapists and reassured me that we were going to make it. I would not have gotten through this without them.”
After 116 days in the NICU, Milo is now home with his whole family. He is still on oxygen but getting stronger every day. ‘‘Your donations helped save my baby.’’