Scottsdale hospital gives premature babies beads for milestones - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Scottsdale hospital gives premature babies beads for milestones

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -

A new program at a valley hospital is sure to warm your heart.

Premature babies, those spending their first weeks of life in the neonatal intensive care unit, are receiving a gift of hope in the form of beads.

They're called beads for babies.
    
Born on January 14th little Owen Olds is just shy of his three month birthday.

It's a huge milestone for a premie born at just 28 weeks. He was originally due April 7th but he was born early weighing only 2 pounds and 11 ounces

"The first few weeks were very emotional," said Lindy olds.

Home for now is Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center. Owen is in a crib located inside the NICU; it's a place for Owen to grow and heal.

The beads that hang above his crib are a reminder of how far he come.

"At first I wasn't sure how I would feel with all those types of beads on there but I really come to like it because it's a great visual how far we have come," said Olds.

"Our babies have long journeys here in NICU," said Mary Luster with Scottsdale Healthcare.

Scottsdale Healthcare Shea started the beads for babies program in January where every baby in the NICU participates.

For every milestone, a baby makes a bead is given. A baby gets a yellow bead, for example, for every day in the NICU the others are special recognition beads.

"His weight gain, the first full feeds, the first holds, all his firsts that are really fun to celebrate," said Olds.

Owen .who now weighs seven pounds and five ounces have over 100 beads he is getting stronger every day.

His beads, even when he leaves the hospital will be a constant reminder of the difficult battle he fought and won.

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