If there was ever a reason to celebrate, then the release of baby Trevor Frolek from hospital is certainly it.
Born at 23 weeks gestation and weighing only 620 grams, Trevor has spent his entire life, 345 days to be exact, in the neonatal intensive care unit at a North Dakota, USA hospital. Last week marked the next chapter for Trevor and his family as the little man finally headed home.
It has been almost a full year since Becky and Bo Frolek unexpectedly welcomed their son into the world, four months early. The baby was due last December, but when Becky suddenly began cramping on Aug. 12, 2014, she and her husband rushed to the hospital. There, the tiny boy quickly came into the world.
Those first minutes, days and even weeks were touch and go. “[It was] minute by minute, hour by hour for quite a while,” Becky recalls in an interview with Today.
Trevor could not breathe on his own and needed life support. His skin was gelatinous and the nurses had to wrap him in plastic to keep him warm. Father Bo could fit his wedding ring around his son’s leg.
For the past year, his mum, dad and big sister Brookelyn, plus a team of nurses and doctors have watched him overcome obstacle after obstacle. Trevor has been through heart and eye surgery and will continue to rely on oxygen and a feeding tube for the time being. However, the once 620 gram infant is now a nine kilogram little boy who babbles, smiles and is described as an “interactive, smart little guy”.
His 345-day stay is not a record but it is certainly an extensive length of time. The staff and family celebrated the big day with a party for Trevor in the NICU. And it is quite clear that Trevor has touched the hearts of everyone around him.
“You really do get attached,” says Erin Kuehl, the NICU’s lead nurse to Today. “Seeing this baby almost not make it, and have him pull through now and looking at us and smiling at us… Trevor is very special to all of our staff.”
Now that Trevor is finally home, he will continue to be monitored and while it may be harder for him to meet his milestones, Trevor has a really positive prognosis and a bright future ahead.
What’s up next for this courageous little man? He is set to celebrate his first birthday in a few short days and will soon be a big brother as Becky is expecting her third child later this year.
Trevor’s story is amazing to say the least, but the good news is that many babies born before 25 weeks are now able to survive with advanced medical intervention. Earlier this year we shared Alexis Hutchinson’s story, a cheeky five-year-old who was born at 22 weeks gestation and weighed less than 500 grams.
Both Trevor and Alexis’ stories prove just how incredibly resilient infants are and just how far modern technology has come.