GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP — This week marked a big milestone for 18-week-old Makenna Spruill and her family. After spending 113 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, Mainland Campus, Makenna is finally going home.
Baby Makenna weighed 13.7 ounces and was 10¾ inches long when she was born 16 weeks early March 12. AtlantiCare said she was the lowest birth-weight baby the hospital has ever cared for.
Makenna’s mother, 24-year-old Alyssa Spruill, of Atlantic City, was 24 weeks pregnant when she developed severe preeclampsia, a dangerous pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure. Due to a risk of stroke and the potential loss of the baby, doctors with AtlantiCare’s Maternal Fetal Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology unit recommended delivering the baby early.
AtlantiCare officials said hundreds of doctors and staff, including experts from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Newborn and Pediatric Care, cared for Alyssa and Makenna during their hospital stay. Makenna was given the nickname “Mighty Makenna” by her nurses.
“The first time I saw her, I thought she was so incredibly tiny,” said Dana Beatty, AtlantiCare NICU registered nurse. “She’s a fighter. She has beaten the odds.”
Makenna’s team at AtlantiCare celebrated many of her other milestones, including coming off a ventilator and drinking from a bottle. Every NICU baby is made a bracelet with beads to mark the development accomplishments.
“It’s long enough to be more of a necklace now,” Beatty said.
Makenna now weighs 4 pounds, 10 ounces, and is 16¾ inches long. She was released Tuesday.