TAMPA, Fla. - A Bay Area mother credits research and discoveries funded by the March of Dimes with saving the life of her premature baby.
Erica Hasson has a harrowing tale to tell about the birth of her daughter Emily.
"Emily was due on Christmas Day 2017. About six months in, I started having issues with my blood pressure. I wasn't feeling well on September 16, so they sent me to the hospital to get checked out pretty quickly. I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia and they had trouble finding her heartbeat and there was a reverse flow in the umbilical cord. So they rushed me in for an emergency C-section."
Emily was born at 25 weeks. She weighed 1.5 pounds and fought for her life at Bayfront Health Baby Place in St. Petersburg.
"It's amazing. She was on a ventilator for two months. She came home from the hospital on oxygen," Hasson explained "She was on oxygen until she was about five-and-a-half months old. And she has no complications. No, no developmental disabilities, no learning disability."
The active seven-year-old is now a picture of good health.
"She doesn't even need glasses, which is something that's common for preemies. She's a perfectly healthy, happy seven-year-old, and it's amazing to see how far she's come," Hasson said.
Hasson says Emily received treatments of surfactant, a protein that keeps small air sacs in the lungs from collapsing. The treatment was supported with funds from the March of Dimes.
"I can't put into words how thankful I am for this. I didn't think that she'd be able to survive and without March of Dimes, she may not. Have been able to with the medical advancements and the research that they do," added Erika.
Hasson is proud of the person Emily is becoming.
"She's been strong since before she should have been born. And I hope she continues that and she grows up to be a strong, independent, caring, kind woman, which I already see that she's growing in to."
The mother and daughter share a special bond thanks to the help of the March of Dimes.