Tyler's Titans- New Castle County Ambassador Family 2013
Newark, Delaware, April 01, 2013
Tyler James Serrano born March 16, 2008
17 weeks too soon, weighing 1 lb 6 oz
in memory of his twin sister, Madison Marie Serrano
We found out we were pregnant in October 2007. My husband and I tried for 8 years to get pregnant and were fortunate enough to get pregnant on our first in vitro attempt. A few weeks after we got our good news, we got even better news that we were having twins! We were doubly blessed!! Things progressed as normal until my 19 week level 2 sonogram. During the visit, I received news that my cervix was shortening and I would have to go on bed rest immediately. From that point on things continued to spiral out of control. I was in no way prepared for the weeks to come.
At 21 weeks I was hospitalized for what I thought was the remainder of my pregnancy. I was admitted to St Joseph's Women's hospital in Tampa, Florida. Since my cervix was shortening so rapidly I would have to stay in bed lying flat for the entire stay. At 23 weeks, I started to go into labor. The babies were on the cusp of viability at this point and their chance of survival was 5%. The doctors did what they could to stop my labor, but on March 15, 2008 at 5:00 a.m. my water broke for baby A - Madison Marie Serrano. Shortly after, they determined that there was no heartbeat… we had lost her. An infection was spreading to me and my son and there was no choice but to induce labor and delivery both babies. I delivered Madison on March 15th at 11:30 pm and Tyler James Serrano was born on March 16, 2008 at 12:48 am. Tyler was taken from me immediately where a team of doctors and nurses worked to save him. I was unable to see him or what was being done to him. I felt as if time had stopped and I was in a haze. Finally my doctor touched my leg bringing me back in the moment and quietly said "they are bringing him up to the NICU… that is a really good sign". He was successfully intubated and was wheeled off to the NICU where they would continue to work on stabilizing him.
I had to wait hours before seeing my son for the first time. Once he was stable I got the call that we could see him. When we entered the room we were deafened by the sounds of alarms and monitors going off everywhere. The room was filled with little babies attached to IV's and monitors. Not even knowing what he looked like. I scanned the room trying to find my son. A nurse across the room waved us over to the isolette she was monitoring. Inside was a tiny baby attached to a ventilator, monitors and 2 poles of IV medications and covered in plastic. It was enough to scare anyone; but I did not see any of it. The only thing I saw was a beautiful, determined, willful little baby boy… my son Tyler.
Tyler was born at 23 weeks 2 days and weighed 1 lb 6 oz 11 1/2 inches long. He spent 4 1/2 months in the NICU, every day fighting for his life. During his NICU stay, Tyler spent 9 weeks on a ventilator, had 7 surgeries, numerous blood transfusions and several infection scares. Every week that past was 2 steps forward and 4 steps back in his recovery. I sat by him every day just staring, unable to hold him until he was 2 months old and off the ventilator. Every night when the phone would ring our hearts would stop afraid that it was bad news. During the first 2 months, the doctor's rarely had positive updates on Tyler. He had suffered a grade IV bilateral IVH which lead to hydrocephalus and the placement of a VP shunt and had heart surgery to close the PDA. Slowly things started looking up. He came off the ventilator, began feedings and was able to be handled more frequently without stressing out. He developed Retinopathy of Prematurity due to the high levels of oxygen he had received and was transferred to a local hospital for eye surgery. His final surgery was the placement of a feeding tube which was his ticket home.
During his stay, we had watched babies come and go through the NICU just waiting for our day to go home. That day finally arrived on July 20, 2008. That morning on the way to the hospital, l we stopped by the funeral home to pick up our daughter Madison's remains. They were going to come home together. We are thankful for everyday we have with our son. We have an angel in heaven and here on earth.
Tyler did not escape his prematurity unscathed. The damage caused from the brain bleed at birth has left him with severe life-long disabilities. He has spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy, cortical vision impairment, seizure disorder, delays and a feeding tube. Today, Tyler is 5 and despite his limitations he is a thriving, energetic, happy little boy who is loved and cherished.