Bryan Health to Raise Awareness on Premature Births During World Prematurity Day

Bryan Health to Raise Awareness on Premature Births During World Prematurity Day
Thursday, November 17, 11:30 a.m.
Bryan East Campus
Meet in Bryan Medical Plaza Lobby
1500 S. 48th St.

Bryan Health is raising awareness on premature births by observing World Prematurity Day on Thursday, November 17 at Bryan East Campus. 

To raise awareness on this issue, Bryan Health is inviting media to share the story of a current Bryan Neonatal Intensive Care Unit family. The Smriga family, Andy and Chanel, were pregnant with twin girls, Harper and Quinn. During pregnancy, Harper was diagnosed with a restrictive growth condition that did not allow her to receive proper nutrients. Doctors informed the family that this condition is often fatal and can result in stillbirth. However, against the odds, both Harper and Quinn were born on September 21, 2016 at 28 weeks gestation at the Bryan Family Birthplace. They were immediately transferred to the Bryan NICU for continued observation and care, with Harper weighing less than one pound. 

Due to complications resulting from the restrictive growth diagnosis, Harper died eight days later. However, that week allowed the Smriga family to spend precious time together, capturing moments that they believed they would never have with her. Before Harper passed, the staff at Bryan provided the family with a heartbeat bear, a stuffed animal that plays a recording of Harper’s actual heartbeat. It is a cherished gift and priceless keepsake that was played at her funeral to honor her life. Quinn, the younger of the twins by two minutes, is currently in the Bryan NICU and is progressing very well.

Premature birth is the leading cause of death in children under the age of five, worldwide, and affects approximately 15 million surviving babies in the United States every year. The Bryan Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is a level III facility that offers experienced staff, physicians, neonatologists and advanced technology to care for infants that are born prematurely.

Bryan Health to Raise Awareness on Premature Births During World Prematurity Day
•    Interviews
o    Andy Smriga, father, and Chanel Smriga, mother 
o    Laurie Ketterl, nurse manager, Bryan Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

•    Media
o    B-roll and photo opportunities will be available with the family, including baby Quinn