Elaina's Journey Through the NICU

For those of you who don’t know, my sister and her husband welcomed their little girls into this world on July 6th at 23 weeks and 4 days gestation. It was with both joy and sadness that Matt and Gina announced the birth of their girls, Elaina Claire and Isabelle Rose. Both weighed 1lb 3.5oz and were 11.5 inches long.

Matt and Gina were so excited to welcome their identical twin girls into this world, but due complications with the pregnancy, Gina went into preterm labor twice. After multiple attempts to stop the dilation of her cervix and the labor, she was placed on bed rest for a week. Unfortunately, the girls had other plans, and she went into preterm labor the second time at 23 weeks and 4 days and the doctors were unable to stop the progression of her labor.

Isabelle Rose was born sleeping into our world. The labor, magnesium, and a cord accident were too much for her body to handle. Gina and Matt were able to hold her and snuggle her closely while waiting for Elaina to be born. They think about her every day, and miss her terribly.

Thankfully, Elaina came out crying. She is currently doing really well in the NICU - growing and thriving every day. She has a long road ahead of her, but she is a fighter. She has the best team of doctors and nurses taking care of her and helping her grow.

Elaina has fought a hole in heart, like many preemies do, that required medications to close and could have required open heart surgery if it had not closed like it did. Then she had a collapsed right lung from intubation and position changes that healed on its own. As a result of this and her prematurity, she is on steroids for increased lung development and to reverse some of the chronic lung disease that was beginning. Like many micro preemies, Elaina also suffered from NEC which is necrotizing enterocolitis, an infection in her belly, which causes constipation and distention that can sometimes require surgery or cause lifelong need for feeding tubes or ostomies that she is grateful to have beaten with only antibiotics and belly rest. She wasn’t a fan of not being able to eat. She has also had kidney issues multiple times because of oral morphine doses to decrease irritability while on the ventilators as she had to stay still and rest her lungs.

She has continued to surprise the baby doctors by having multiple allergies to antibiotics which is almost unheard of in the preemie world. Elaina’s feisty attitude has been very beneficial to her journey and continued progress as she grows.

As of right now, she is 2 lbs 1 oz, and is on CPAP, which means there is no tube doing the breathing for her and she is just getting a little extra help to keep her lungs inflated between breaths. She also is getting really adorable!

            Because of Gina’s hospital stay and Elaina’s prolonged hospital stay, Matt and Gina are already facing really high medical costs. This isn’t including any parking costs or take out/on the go food options so they can spend as much time as possible with Elaina while working full time.

We appreciate all of the love and support we have received from our family and friends over the past several weeks. For daily updates on Elaina's progress you can visit https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/babyelaina.

As a new auntie and godmother, I am trying to help as much as I can from Texas. I am starting this GoFundMe to reach out to those who know and love my sister, Matt, my family, or Elaina. We are grateful of any donation and it will go towards her hospital bills. We also know that times may be tough financially, so even a simple prayer can go a long way for our little fighter and her guardian angel.


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Jessica Fugazzotto 
Newton, MA
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