Meet the Cocco Family

2021 Cocco Family Story


Just like with their previous two pregnancies, everything was going well when Kelly and Nick Cocco decided to have a third baby. But then at 27 weeks, Kelly got very sick and had a lot of pain. Her doctor sent her to the hospital where she learned her blood pressure was dangerously high—210 over 130. Kelly was admitted with HELLP syndrome, a pregnancy complication that affects the blood and liver, and immediately put on anti-seizure medication. Nick said, “It was extremely stressful because I was very worried about her health and the baby's health.” Kelly was to be on bed rest until the baby was delivered—which could be any time due to an emergency or weeks later when full term. She said, “We’d discovered that the baby had stopped growing for about a week and we were going to need to do emergency cesarean birth to save both her life and mine.” Sidney was born 11 weeks too soon, weighing just 2 pounds, 1 ounce.

Kelly and Nick were thrown into a NICU experience where their tiny baby had to be intubated so that she could breathe and given surfactant to help her lungs not stick together. “I put my wedding ring up her arm and there was still plenty of room for it to fit,” Nick recalls. Sidney and her family remained in the NICU for 73 days. But they weren’t alone. They had lots of support from their March of Dimes Family Support Coordinator as well as their NICU Family team. “We learned how to hold our preemie,” Kelly said. “That wasn’t normal to us—to hold a baby with so many wires attached.” They also had to learn how to teach Sidney how to breathe, eat and do both at the same time. “We were able to find the support that we needed through March of Dimes and through other families so that we could survive in this chaotic world,” she added.

Eventually Sidney graduated from the NICU and the Coccos brought her home with oxygen support, which remained at their house for the first year. Today, she’s a happy, healthy five-year-old who loves playing with her brother and sister. Kelly believes supporting March of Dimes is critical because, as she says, “you never know when you're going to be affected by prematurity and to help fund research breakthroughs, including surfactant which was put in Sidney’s lungs to help her grow.” Thanks to our many supporters, March of Dimes can be there for families like Sidney’s. Since her birth, the Coccos have been active in getting their message out. They attend World Prematurity Day at the hospital every year to rally families going through the same experience that they did. They also participate in March for Babies and continue to support March of Dimes to give back to a community that supported them in their time of need.

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