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Helping Amelia Grow Up Stronger

150 Years Stronger Patient Story Amelia

Just after Amelia’s birth, a nurse noticed something wasn’t right. She would need to go to Children’s National Hospital for immediate neonatal care. “Handing our newborn baby over to paramedics left us shocked and confused,” says Evan, Amelia’s father.

More shock was to come. Amelia required life-saving gastrointestinal surgery in her first 24 hours of life. Evan met with the Children’s National surgical team. “They explained everything with extreme empathy,” he recalls.

Amelia spent a week in our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Her mom, Bernadette, says the little touches, like when a staff member remembered her name or set her up in a comfortable chair to pump breast milk, helped her cope with the trauma. “When we arrived, someone had put a little pink crocheted hat on Amelia,” she recalls. “Because we didn’t get to dress her to go home, this was the first non-hospital piece of clothing she wore. It meant a great deal to me.”

Something else also meant a great deal to Bernadette. Doctors reassured her that her baby’s intestinal condition was not her fault. Baby Amelia had two more surgeries before she was six months old. “From the start, I understood that the Children’s National team would be standing by Amelia for the duration of her childhood,” says Bernadette. “Amelia will require monitoring and care for the rest of her life, but thanks to Dr. Mikael Petrosyan and our team at Children’s National, I know we’re not alone.”

Amelia is now a healthy, outgoing toddler, who loves to wear hair bows, run, jump and color. Bernadette says, "We can't say enough about our gratitude."