Hurricane Florence sees its tiniest evacuees flown to safety as storm pounds Wilmington
Reports state that the premature newborns, who belong to two different families, were being taken care of by the New Hanover Regional Hospital in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Hurricane Florence on Friday saw its tiniest evacuees attempting to escape the direct hit of the deadly storm — two premature babies, a boy, and a girl, both born at just over a pound.
Reports state that the premature newborns, who belong to two different families, were being taken care of by the New Hanover Regional Hospital in Wilmington, North Carolina, earlier this week.
As the dangerous hurricane appeached the coastal city, the doctors coordinated with crews at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, which is nearly 200 miles inland, in an effort to get both the babies moved far away from the eye of the storm and to safety.
Meet Dariel, a micropreemie born at 23 weeks, 3 days at @nhrmc in Wilmington. Because of #HurricaneFlorence, NHRMC worked with Levine Children's Hospital to safely transport him, where we will take excellent care of him during the storm until he and his family can go back home. pic.twitter.com/dbVG1KX3d6— Levine Children’s (@LevineChildrens) September 13, 2018
The nurse manager of the NICU at Levine Children’s Hospital, Megan Elliot, while talking to PEOPLE, said: "It took about two days to get all of this together."
Baby Dariel was born just 23 weeks old, while the other baby who was born alongside him, Baby Sa’Briyah Brown, was born at 25 weeks, according to reports. Brown's mother, 28-year old Sheron Moore said that her main concern was that her child should be safe during the storm.
Moore, who is a first-time mother, said that she started having labor pains at church two weeks ago and by Monday morning (August 27), she had no choice but to give birth because she was fully dilated.
“I was told I’d never be able to have a baby on my own so this whole thing feels like a fairytale to me. I never thought any of this would happen,” Moore told PEOPLE. “That’s my miracle, that’s my fighter, I’m so proud of my baby girl!” she added.
Both the babies were reportedly taken through Charlotte hospital's Med Center Air, which is a specially equipped plane with necessary medical devices.
“Whenever babies are born at that stage their lungs are not developed, so they need a ventilator, extra respiratory support, so they have to stay in the NICU,” Elliot said, adding that both the babies are now settled in the new hospital and are safe.
The nurse manager explained to the news outlet that when babies are born premature, they often spend two to three months in the NICU. She added that both the babies have been sent to Charlotte for the time to ride out the storm, but the Wilmington hospital plans to fly then back as soon as it is safe to do so.