Ahead of the Curve

Cathy’s story

A mother proudly congratulates her daughter on making the Dean's List, and smile comes across her face, thinking back to the day she was getting congratulated on her new baby girl. This woman’s name is Cathy Chizzo and 20 years ago, she gave birth to her daughter, Katelyn.

Cathy was only 25 weeks pregnant when she had an emergency C-section at Ministry Saint Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Marshfield. Weighing only 1 pound, 1.2 ounces, Katelyn was the smallest baby ever delivered at Ministry. She was on a ventilator for three weeks and spent over two months under the care of the NICU staff.

Katelyn battled many health problems as a premature baby and Cathy recalls every day that she survived as a miracle. It was a scary and emotional time for Cathy as a first time mom, but she remembers the exceptional staff in the NICU going out of their way to care for Katelyn. She especially remembers the NICU nurse, Joan, who would sit with Katelyn throughout the night even when off duty.

Even after 20 years, Cathy remembers every detail of her little girl weighing less than five pounds. Now that Katelyn is a smart, active young woman Cathy looks back on that time with gratefulness to the staff that took care of her and her baby. She’s no professor, but if she could, she’d give all straight “A”s.

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