For Becky and Bo Frolek, August 12th represents a milestone they hardly could have imagined this time last year.
The couple, who live in Fargo, North Dakota, will celebrate their son Trevor’s first birthday–and the long way he’s come.
Born at just 23 weeks, Trevor spent 345 days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at a hospital in Fargo. He weighed only one pound, six ounces at birth; he was so small that dad Bo’s wedding ring could fit around his foot.
“The doctors and nurses have worked so hard to get him to this point,” Becky Frolek told TODAY. “It’s beyond amazing.”
Today, the smiling, 20-pound baby is nothing short of a miracle.
“It has been quite a journey,” Becky wrote on Facebook. “We are blessed to have Trevor at home! God is good! Prayers are answered!”
Becky’s pregnancy began normally enough, as the couple excitedly prepared for a December 2014 labor. But just before she was set to begin her third trimester, Becky noticed something wrong. She started cramping in mid-August, and was rushed to Essentia Health in Fargo where she gave birth to her son.
Delicate baby Trevor was put on life support because he could not breathe on his own.
“It was scary but he was more human-like than I expected. All his fingers, all his toes, everything was there … just so tiny,” Becky told TODAY. “His skin was so transparent and fragile.”
Not knowing if their son would live, Bo had a priest baptize their son.
“The doctor told us it was going to be a rollercoaster ride,” Bo told WDAF-TV. “We were going to have our good days and we’re going to have our bad days.”
That doctor turned out to be spot on.
“A lot of days we left here and were not sure we would see him again,” Essentia Health’s lead NICU nurse Erin Kuehl told WDAF-TV. “To see him do well … this is the best reward we could ask for.”
During Trevor’s stay at the hospital, he had surgery on his heart and on his eyes, which were fused shut at birth.
Last Friday, after a full year of care, Trevor was able to go home. The nurses and doctors who took care of Trevor attended a celebration for the family.
Trevor will still need physical and occupational therapy, and remains on both an oxygen line and a feeding tube. His parents are alerted to any potential problems by a connected monitor, but doctors say he should have a normal childhood.
For now, he’s relishing his days with mom, dad, and big sister Brookelyn. And, in a couple months time, he’ll become a big brother.
“I am nervous, excited. I am sure there will be tears,” Becky told WDAF-TV. “I hope I have what it takes.”