At just 28 weeks, baby Leo Kummer was born to parents Lisa and Ben Kummer at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in December 2012. Weighing 2 pounds, 4 ounces, Leo arrived after a five-year struggle for Lisa and Ben to have a child, including 13 separate infertility treatments. Baby Leo truly was their “last chance” baby. Unfortunately, given Lisa was diagnosed with preeclampsia midway through her pregnancy, she had to undergo an emergency C-section. As a result, Leo arrived 12 weeks early.
Within minutes of being born, Leo was whisked through a quarter-mile underground tunnel from Abbott Northwestern to the neighboring neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota’s Minneapolis campus. Due to Lisa’s own health condition, outside of the first two or three minutes immediately after Leo was born, she was unable to see her infant son for more than two days. “I didn’t even feel like a mom,” Lisa said.
As Lisa became stronger she was able to visit her baby boy more frequently. However, it was still emotionally heartbreaking that a 15-minute one-way trek through an adjoining underground tunnel separated her from her son. Similarly, Ben also struggled, spending countless hours debating whose bedside he should be at – his wife’s or his newborn son’s – a choice no new parent would ever want to face.
Now healthy, Lisa and Ben are getting ready to welcome Leo home, nearly two months after being born. But before doing so, Leo will have to spend a few more days in the hospital. As a result, he was proudly recognized as the first infant to make the transfer from Abbott Northwestern’s Special Care Nursery to the new Special Care Nursery at The Mother Baby Center on Feb. 4, 2013.
“The care we received at the [Abbott] Special Care Nursery was excellent – the nurses there are truly the heart of the organization,” Lisa said. “However, having to share a space with five other infants and their families, with no privacy other than a curtain, was really hard. We are thrilled that the individual patient rooms which are part of the Special Care Nursery at The Mother Baby Center will allow more privacy for families and that all the specialized care that both mothers and babies will need will be housed in one location.”
Watch baby Leo’s move below: