Born at just 14 ounces, preemie Evie is home for Christmas after months in NICU

Madison Hickey and Dylan Statler were expecting their baby girl to arrive this summer, but they were shocked when she born in March, at just 23 weeks old. “It was so scary to rush back to the OR… I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it, if he was going to make it…” Madison reflected.

“Everything happened so fast, it was like a dream… a nightmare,” Dylan explained.

Born weighing just 14 ounces, Evie Statler began an uphill battle for life. Because of her prematurity, many complications arose and Evie spent “her whole life” in the NICU, as her mother explained. The St. Louis Children’s hospital provided amazing care and support through all the ups and downs of Statler’s NICU stay. Dr. explained Melissa Riley that at only 23 weeks, the lungs and immune system are still very immature and need support to develop.

“It’s one thing to survive, but to survive without complications—that’s even rarer…Lungs are usually very immature, intestines are very immature…very prone to infection because the immune system is very -immature,” said Dr. Riley.

During their stay in the hospital, Evie’s father Dylan begins to express his feelings through painting. He created a piece called “Waiting for Her Arrival,” which was recently accepted and is now on display at the 39th Annual Arts St. Louis Exhibition. He explained, “When you’re expecting someone special to come to your home, you know, you kinda tidy it up, you know, put the flowers in a vase and then just wait for them to come. So that’s kind of hopeful.”

That hope kept them going for the past nine months in the NICU. And now, they can bring Evie home in time for Christmas.

“What we’ve seen over the last few weeks is this slow, steady, beautiful progress, and his development is blossoming,” shared Dr. Riley.

Thanks to modern medical care, preemies are living to younger and younger ages. Eliora “Ellie” Schneider of Kansas, born in 2017 at just 21 weeks and 6 days, also weighed 14 ounces. Born in St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri — the first hospital in the area to implement NICU care for babies less than 24 weeks old — Ellie thrived and thrived against the odds. As Live Action has reported previously, according to KSBH Kansas City, “’Nationwide… babies born before the 24-week mark… have a 6 percent survival rate, but at Saint Luke’s, they have a 50 percent survival rate.’ Obviously the medical intervention made a big difference.”


Evie’s mother, Madison, tearfully shared how grateful she is for the people who cared for her daughter. “We wouldn’t be here without them [NICU staff]… they are like a second family to us and they are amazing, they have been the light of our lives,” he said.

Dylan stated that “… for the timing to line up at Christmas, it’s like, symbolic, almost like, yeah, he’s our gift.”

The DOJ jailed a pro-life grandmother this Christmas for protesting the killing of preborn children. Please take 30 seconds to TELL CONGRESS: STOP DOJ FROM TARGETING PRO-LIFE AMERICANS.

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