First Steps

Emma was born extremely premature, at 28 weeks and three days. She battled many complications during her 76-day stay at Duke, including contracting NEC—necrotizing enterocolitis, a devastating condition that affects and destroys the intestines of premature infants. Emma lost a tiny portion of her small intestine, and two-thirds of her large intestine.

Emma fought through all of this and survived, though it was not easy. She has since had corrective surgery for her NEC, and has had treatments to correct issues involving her heart, kidneys, and eyes.

Despite the complications stemming from her prematurity, Emma is a happy and curious baby. She loves exploring the world around her and touching new objects. She has an infectious smile, and is usually the most happy and social kid in a group. And, after many therapy sessions, this two-year-old is  walking—an incredible milestone for a little girl who was not expected to survive.

Your support allows Duke Children’s physicians and caretakers to save the lives of premature babies like Emma. Thank you for all you do for Duke Children’s and its patients and families!

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