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The parents of a little boy who has been fighting for his life in neonatal intensive care for six months asked his devoted nurse to be his godmother and always be a part of his life.
Austyn Evans, 28, of Florida, was 35 weeks pregnant when she and her husband, Branden Williams, welcomed their son Conrad to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston on Dec. 15.
The newborn had kidney problems and breathing difficulties that required him to be on a ventilator. Nurse Carly Miller, 27, cared for Conrad during his first five days in the NICU and developed an immediate bond with his parents.
“The way she talked to him when she was doing his vitals or when she was taking blood, she was constantly talking to him in this really cute little mother’s voice and trying to be as reassuring as possible even though he was extremely sedated,” Evans told Today of the ‘charismatic’ NICU nurse.
Austyn Evans, 28, of Florida, and her husband, Branden Williams, welcomed their son, Conrad, to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston on Dec. 15.
Nurse Carly Miller, 27, (right) cared for Conrad during his first five days in the NICU and developed an immediate bond with him and his parents
Evans had been moved from her local Florida hospital to the Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women after her 20-week anatomy scan found that her son had a kidney blockage and would likely require special care after birth.
The mother-to-be also lacked amniotic fluid, a condition known as oligohydramnios. Low amniotic fluid increases the risk of miscarriage or stillbirth and can also cause serious abnormalities, including underdeveloped lungs.
The goal was to grow her baby as much as possible, but he had to give birth early after his heart rate started to drop.
The newborn had kidney problems and breathing difficulties that forced him to be put on a ventilator, which prevented his parents from holding him for over a month
Evans found comfort in her communication with Miller, who she says was “the only one who really knew Conrad”
Conrad relied on machines to help him grow after he was born, and his parents couldn’t hold him for over a month.
Evans found comfort in her communication with Miller, who was “the only one who really knew Conrad.”
The mother felt so strongly about Miller’s presence in her son’s life that she requested that she remain his primary nurse when he was moved to another pod to start continuous renal replacement therapy, a special type of dialysis.
The mother felt so strongly about Miller’s presence in her son’s life that she asked her to remain his primary nurse when he started dialysis
Miller was initially hesitant to follow Conrad because it was the first time this type of dialysis machine had been used on the hospital’s NICU patients, but she eventually agreed.
“A lot of doctors thought he wouldn’t make it,” Miller told Today. ‘He was one of the smallest babies we’ve ever put on the machine’
Miller was initially hesitant to follow Conrad because it was the first time this type of dialysis machine had been used on the hospital’s NICU patients. Despite her concerns about her lack of experience, she agreed to take up the challenge.
“A lot of doctors thought he wouldn’t make it,” the nurse told Today. “He was one of the tiniest babies we’ve ever put on the machine, so it’s pretty groundbreaking for them for Conrad to get through.”
Miller remained a constant source of information and comfort to the baby boy’s parents, who soon noticed how their son reacted to her presence.
Conrad’s parents quickly noticed how he reacted to Miller’s presence, and Evans remembered how her son’s eyes “lit” when he saw the nurse.
Conrad spent six months in the NICU and the new parents asked Miller to become their son’s godmother after he was released from the hospital
Miller was moved to tears and immediately agreed to be Conrad’s godmother, saying it was “the coolest” thing that ever happened to her
“On one of the nights I left Conrad, I was waiting for Carly,” the mother said. “He was just super picky — I mean ridiculous. And the moment he saw Carly, his eyes lit up. He was super smiley. And when I tried to grab him and give him a hug before I left, he chased me away.”
Evans said the thought of never seeing Miller again after Conrad was released from the hospital at six months old was “heartbreaking.” She wanted her to be her son’s godmother, but didn’t ask before they left.
She finally invited the nurse for a visit with a special surprise in mind. She gave her flowers and a note from Conrad asking her to be his godmother. Miller immediately accepted.
‘I started to roar. I was like, “Are you serious?” Miller recalled, saying it was “the coolest” thing that ever happened to her.