Babies born prematurely can have major health setbacks. That was the case for Ezra Campbell, who was born 15 weeks early. But a team of doctors and specialists at Community Medical Centers helped him grow to be the active three-year old boy he is today.
Dr. John Moua and Ezra have become fast friends. On this day, Ezra gave Dr. Moua one of his t-ball cards. But life hasn’t always been so fun for Ezra. He was born at 25 weeks. His mom, Sarah Campbell, explains how high blood pressure during pregnancy sent her into an emergency c-section.
“My blood pressures were like, 250 over 120. My kidneys were shutting down. They thought that they were going to have to deliver Ezra for my health,” explained Sarah.
When Ezra was born, he weighed just one pound and six ounces, and could fit in the palm of your hand. He was immediately brought to Community Regional Medical Center’s neonatal intensive care unit.
Sarah said, “Going to the NICU for the first time and seeing him was overwhelming for sure.”
Dr. Moua is a pediatric pulmonologist with UCSF Fresno, and the medical director for the Pediatric Specialty Center at Community Regional. He explains, Ezra’s organs were not fully developed. His underdeveloped lungs posed the most health risks.
“He was on a mechanical ventilator. He was intubated, we were also doing echos of his heart. He had pulmonary hypertension, he was already on medications for that. He was dealing with also nutrition issues, weight gain,” said Dr. Moua.
Baby Ezra could not breathe on his own. He was flown to UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco for a tracheostomy – a temporary airway was placed in him so he didn’t have to use his mouth or nose to breathe.
Sarah remembered, “They had to put him on medications and on breathing treatments and on a ventilator to help support him and on oxygen.”
When Ezra returned to the NICU at Community Regional. Dr. Moua and a team of specialists continued to care of him.
“We’ve got multiple different subspecialties, you know, at that time we have pediatric cardiologists involved, the pulmonalogists involved, neonatalogists involved, we were able to do echos in the hospital,” said Dr. Moua.
With the help of each doctor, nurse, and medical staff, things began to look up for Ezra.
Sarah commented, “I really feel like it’s been a team effort to get Ezra as far as he has come, from that little tiny baby that barely looked like a baby, to the very active three-year old that he is today.”
Even when Ezra went home, he continued to be cared for by a variety of highly trained specialists.
“On the outpatient aspect, outpatient side, you obviously have the pulmonologists, you have a nurse, you’ve got a respiratory care therapist, you’ve got social workers, dieticians, a whole set of team of outpatient that really truly care, and is dedicated to these patients,” said Dr. Moua.
Dr. Moua said he’s grateful every patient, like Ezra, can receive mutlidisciplinary care.
“Our care is designed, is really around the patient. It’s truly patient center, family centered care,” continued Dr. Moua.
Today, Ezra can breathe on his own. Dr. Moua said it’s extremely rewarding to watch Ezra grow.
Dr. Moua ended, “Ezra is going to continue to grow, his lungs will develop, and he will become a little boy as you see already, but he’s going to continue to grow and he’ll do just fine.”
Sarah calls her son her miracle baby. Despite health setbacks, she says she couldn’t be more proud of his perseverance and growth.
“He has just really shown that even with tubes and all of these limitations, that he has just a happy life and he is willing to take on anything that life throws at him,” ended Sarah.