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.”