On the fifth floor of St. Bernards Medical Center, the only neonatal intensive care unit in this part of the state is near full capacity.
Mallori and Justin Cline expected their son Kross to arrive on Oct. 23. He decided to make his appearance on Aug. 24.
“We were trying to make it to the 32 mark, that would’ve been today, but we delivered on Saturday,” Mallori said.
The couple had no problems in their pregnancy. They credit the attention they’ve received at St. Bernards NICU.
“It’s just day-by-day but they always kept us informed, checked on us constantly, and made us feel comfortable,” she said.
The NICU is the only one in Northeast Arkansas. Otherwise, parents would need to travel to Little Rock and Memphis.
Dana Lands, director of nursing and delivery in the NICU, said the services they offer are like no others.
“One of the things we have to offer here that isn’t common is the ability to give a baby donated breast milk,” Lands said. “We get donated human breast milk from a bank out of Texas and it’s been proven it’s the safest thing for babies like Kross who are early and mom doesn’t have her own milk yet.”
The biggest thing for Kross’s parents is getting to stay close to home and keep a close eye on him.
Officials with the NICU say it is also important for parents and family to have easy access to the baby. They said it’s beneficial for both the baby and their families.
To learn more, check out this story and video on Region 8 News.