Meet the 2014 New Castle County Ambassador Family, Team Daniel Romano
Wilmington, Delaware, March 11, 2014
Daniel Steven Romano
Born December 1, 2003
11 weeks too soon
2 lbs 3 oz.
We became pregnant with our second child quickly compared to the numerous months it took us the first time with our daughter, Jessica. We were thrilled to be having a second child and the doctor had scheduled the C-Section for February 4, 2004. But God had other plans in store for us during this pregnancy.
Over the Thanksgiving holiday of 2003 I started having pain. I stayed on the couch for two days and then finally called the doctor. The doctor told me to go to Christiana Hospital. We gathered up Jessica and headed to the hospital stopping only at my parent’s house to leave Jessica with them. When I entered the maternity ward, I was taken directly to a room where my blood pressure was taken. The nurse did not understand how I could have walked into the hospital since my blood pressure was extremely high. I was immediately given magnesium to try to lower my blood pressure. After a few hours of monitoring, I was told I was going to stay in the hospital. Steve headed home to Jessica. As the nurses continued monitoring my blood pressure and speaking to the doctor, it appeared it was not coming down as quickly as they wanted. I was told I was going to have an emergency C-Section. I had to get Steve back to the hospital. I called my parents so they could go to my house since it was 1:30 am and Jessica was in bed. I then called Steve to tell him to get dressed and my parents were on their way. He had to get back for the delivery of our baby.
Daniel Steven was born on December 1, 2003 at 2:48 am. He weighed only 2 pounds, 3 ounces. I did not get to see him when he was delivered since he was taken directly to the NICU. Steve was able to go see him and bring me a few Polaroid pictures so I could see our son. The following day, I was able to go to the NICU on a stretcher to see Daniel. It was there that Steve and I were told about all the possibilities of complications due to premature birth. Daniel was in an incubator to keep his temperature up so it was weeks before we could hold him; feed him or even change his diaper. I was released to go home a few days later, but Daniel was not. Our family visited daily and learned the scrub up routine before entering the NICU. We celebrated Daniel’s first Christmas in the hospital with a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus along with a special little Christmas tree.
In the early morning hours of January 4, 2004, we received a call from a neonatal doctor at Christiana seeking our approval to transport Daniel to A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children. Daniel was in need of emergency surgery for NEC infection (necrotizing enterocolitis). This infection damages the intestines and bladder. Steve and I gave permission for his transport, called Steve’s parents to head to our house to stay with Jessica and then drove to A.I. hospital. Daniel was getting prepped for surgery when we arrived and the doctor explained to us that he was going to try to remove the infected parts of his organs so that he would still have enough good organs left to survive. During the 90 minute operation, the doctor determined the infection had spread too far too fast. He had to remove too many organs for Daniel to survive on his own.
Family had arrived at the hospital while Daniel was in surgery. When the doctor came out to tell us what he found while operating on Daniel, we decided that we could not keep him alive on a ventilator. As a family we got to pray with Daniel while he was baptized by a local priest and then each family member got to spend some time with him. Steve and I stayed with him until he passed away on January 4, 2004 at 2:45 pm.
While writing Daniel’s obituary, we wanted to have donations made in his memory to help other premature babies. We located the March of Dimes and were able to have funds go to this organization to help fight premature births. We hope that one day no one will have a child pass away from being born too soon. Family Team Daniel Romano began walking in 2006 and continues to walk each year. We consider our team a Family/Friends team and could not have raised the thousands of dollars we have each year without such wonderful support of family and friends. Just knowing the funds raised by the March of Dimes goes towards research for eliminating prematurity keeps Daniel’s memory alive!