Decades ago, medical communities thought premature babies were too delicate and fragile so it wasn’t common for preemies in the neonatal ICU to be handled.
But one nurse changed that belief.
It was in 1995 when Paul Jackson’s twin babies had been born 12 weeks early. They seemed to be in good condition but after three weeks, one of the daughters started to experience problems.
Brielle’s heart rate increased, she had difficulty breathing, and she turned blue as her oxygen level dropped.
Gayle Kasparian, one of the nurses in the NICU, suggested they take the stronger twin, Kyrie, and put her next to twin sister Brielle. What happened next was another glimpse of a miracle.
Within a few seconds, Kyrie moved and placed her small arm around her sister. Brielle instantly started to stabilize. Her breathing and heart rate returned to normal.
That astonishing moment made headlines when a photographer, who happened to be at the facility, took a photo of the babies’ sweet and miraculous embrace.
The photo, which depicts the healing power of a touch, immediately became known as the ‘Rescuing Hug.’ It also appeared in Reader’s Digest and Life magazine.
Thanks to the nurse who put the sisters together, doctors discovered the amazing benefits of skin-to-skin contact. Preemie babies are now handled this way, also called the ‘Kangaroo Care.’
Brielle and Kyrie are now healthy and all grown up thanks to that nurse whose idea resulted in a hug that changed the way preemie babies as young as 23 weeks are cared for.
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