Cordelia White arrived at BWH’s NICU late last month with a homemade cake, balloons, photo albums, her neonatal medical record and some preemie outfits and diapers in hand. She couldn’t think of a better way to ring in her 30th birthday than with the people who took care of her for the first six months of her life.

“I always knew that someday I would be back to visit; I just wasn’t sure when,” said White, donning a big smile and birthday party hat. “This seemed like the right time.”

On July 24, White and her father, Peter, drove from New Hampshire to visit BWH’s NICU. It was an opportunity for the family to acknowledge the life-saving efforts of her care team.

White, who was born at 25-weeks gestation and weighed just one-and-a-half pounds, has persevered through many health obstacles since birth. While times haven’t always been easy for her, she’s stayed positive and worked toward achieving her goals, including graduating from high school and moving into her own apartment.

Kathleen Murphy, NP, who was White’s primary care nurse 30 years ago, reunited with her during the celebration.

“Cordelia was an incredibly sick baby, but she never gave up,” Murphy recalled. “Her parents were fierce advocates for their child and were confident Cordelia was receiving the best care. She’s one of my favorite preemies.”

During the visit, Spiritual Care Services performed a reaffirmation of White’s baptism. Since White was so sick when she was born, she received an emergency baptism in case she did not survive. The ceremony on her recent visit was a comfort, she said.

A proud father, Peter said he was happy he could visit BWH with his daughter and reflect upon how far she has come since her time in the NICU.

“This is a pretty important day,” he said. “It was emotional stepping into the Brigham nearly three decades later, but it’s a dream come true to be back here.”

3 Responses to “Former NICU Patient Celebrates 30th Birthday at BWH”

  1. Joan

    Happy Birthday! How wonderful that you got back to celebrate a milestone with those who cared for you. My daughter was born @ BWH (1 pound 3 ounces) and will be 20 this year- The doctors’s were all wonderful but it was the nurses. They were there every step of the way caring for her and cheering her on, giving me encouragement and hope. My miracle. God placed us in the best possible environment and I am so grateful. Every day is a gift

  2. Sharon Snider-Muller

    I am so happy and honored to call Cordelia a friend! She’s a devoted advocate for preemies AND a role model for many children and adults in New Hampshire. Keep up the good work Cordelia and Happy Belated Birthday! <3 Your friend, Sharon

  3. Anne Stevenson

    Also, i am happy to see this video of Cordelia! Happy birthday to Cordelia! And i am proud of the team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and my niece Kathleen Murphy who still give such wonderful care there! Aunt Anne


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