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Noemi's Story

Eighteen-month-old Noemi smiles and giggles when it’s time to play. She loves activity and sampling new foods. But eating and moving around haven’t always been so easy for her.
Noemi Close Up

Noemi’s mother, Maria, woke up feeling unwell one morning when she was 26-weeks pregnant. Until then, the pregnancy had been perfectly normal. But an ultrasound revealed signs of early labor. Maria knew Noemi would face increased complications and risks if born too soon. 

Maria was admitted to a DC-area hospital where caregivers tried for a week to stop her pre-term labor. It didn’t work.

Noemi spent her first two weeks in that hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), undergoing treatment for jaundice and other complications. Then doctors diagnosed the tiny preemie with a life-threatening intestinal disease. They knew she needed advanced care. 

Doctors transferred Noemi to the NICU at Children’s National, ranked number one in the nation for neonatal care. Our on-site pediatric medical specialists and subspecialists gave Noemi the expert, compassionate care she needed—thanks to generous support from our donors. 

“I was amazed by how attentive the staff at Children’s National was to Noemi and our whole family,” Maria recalls. “There was someone in the room the whole time. They worked hard to comfort us.” 

Noemi’s condition alternately improved and worsened over the next few months. After exploratory surgery revealed an obstruction, our Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition team removed a portion of her small intestine. Doctors later diagnosed a condition that meant a gastrostomy tube (or G-tube) would be needed to deliver nutrients to her stomach. Her symptoms improved. Noemi was ready to go home for the first time in October.

These days, Noemi loves the toddler life. She’s doesn’t let her G-tube slow her down. She loves books and throwing balls. Each one of her pint-sized strides (often in those favorite polka dot slippers) reflects a leap in progress. Her appetite is growing and she loves to feed herself, especially when avocado or green peas are on the menu. Noemi’s parents are grateful for the exceptional, compassionate care that Children’s National has given their whole family. 

As we approach our 150th birthday in 2020, we have a lot to celebrate. Your support helps us create brighter futures for children—like Noemi—everywhere. Thank you!