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Doctor & nurses pack truck with NICU equipment and drive through Texas snowstorm to save premature baby

Doctor & nurses pack truck with NICU equipment and drive through Texas snowstorm to save premature baby
Doctor & nurses pack truck with NICU equipment and drive through Texas snowstorm to save premature baby. Courtesy of Baylor Scott & White Medical Center.

The precious life of a premature baby, born during the devastating Texas snowstorms, was saved thanks to the incredible teamwork of medical professionals, including a doctor who packed his truck with neo-natal intensive care unit equipment and drove through snow to help.

Little Zaylynn being monitored prior to being airlifted.
Little Zaylynn being monitored prior to being airlifted. Courtesy of Baylor Scott & White Medical Center.

Mom, Kimberly Arias, drove through icy conditions to get to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Marble Falls, Texas, on Feb. 17th after experiencing pain that turned out to be contractions.

Transfer Needed

With the help of staff, Arias gave birth to her beautiful daughter, Zaylynn, who weighed just 1lbs 6oz. But Zaylynn, a premature baby with only a 50% chance of survival, needed to be transferred.

With the icy conditions and power outages, the medical team at Baylor Scott & White frantically made calls around the state looking for a viable transfer.

“We had five or six people out at the nurses’ station calling hospital networks all over the state of Texas,” Meredith Schubert, the labor and delivery nurse, told Good Morning America. “Nobody could answer our cry for help.”

A hero answers

The team finally reached, Dr. John Loyd, division neonatologist chief at Dell Children’s Medical Center.

Doctor & nurses pack truck with NICU equipment and drive through Texas snowstorm to save premature baby
Doctor & nurses pack truck with NICU equipment and drive through Texas snowstorm to save premature baby. Courtesy of Baylor Scott & White Medical Center.

With time running out, Dr. Loyd packed his truck with supplies, turning it into a makeshift NICU, and he and two NICU nurses from Dell Children’s got on the road to help save Zaylynn.

The trio arrived at the Marble Falls hospital around 8 p.m., where they worked as a team all night to continuously monitor Zaylynn.

Doctor & nurses pack truck with NICU equipment and drive through Texas snowstorm to save premature baby
Doctor & nurses pack truck with NICU equipment and drive through Texas snowstorm to save premature baby. Courtesy of Baylor Scott & White Medical Center.

By the afternoon of Feb. 18th, the weather cleared enough to allow for a helicopter from Dell Children’s to land and transport Zaylynn to safety.

“It was incredible when the helicopter lifted off. There were tears from all of us,” said Schubert. “It was a huge relief and sense of accomplishment and joy, that she was doing so well and getting to the place that she needed to be.”

Zaylynn being airlifted to Dell Children's.
Zaylynn being airlifted to Dell Children’s. Courtesy of Baylor Scott & White Medical Center.
Zaylynn being airlifted to Dell Children's.
Zaylynn being airlifted to Dell Children’s. Courtesy of Baylor Scott & White Medical Center.

Mom and baby were reunited at the Ronald McDonald House at Dell Children’s, where Zaylynn is expected to make a full and healthy recovery. Credit: Baylor Scott & White Medical Center.


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