Chris and Jessica Hill of Lakeland, Florida have much to celebrate this month as they were finally able to bring home their son, Finn James Hill, after over three months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando. Finn, who has affectionally been nicknamed “Fighting Finn,” spent 113 days in the NICU in Orlando according to ABC Action News.
Finn’s parents, Chris and Jessica had battled years of infertility, and after adopting two embryos at the end of 2018 brought in the new year with the wonderful news that they were expecting twins. However, at week ten of the pregnancy, Jessica lost one of the babies due to complications arising from a blood clot.
Then on May 21st, Jessica’s water broke unexpectedly. She was rushed by ambulance to the hospital and gave birth to Finn James who weighed only 1lb 2 oz. At only 24 weeks gestation, “Fighting Finn” was considered a micro-preemie and moved to Nemours in Orlando “because they needed a special breathing machine,” stated Chris Hill, Finn’s father in his interview with ABC Action News.
Since that time, it has been an uphill battle for the Hill’s who have had to miss work and incur significant healthcare-related costs to keep their newborn growing strong. Over the summer, family and friends followed Finn’s story by reading updates on a Facebook page set up called “Fighting Finn.” The community page, which has over 7000 followers has pictures of Finn at various stages of his development and now includes video from some of the news outlets that have covered his courageous struggle to survive. People, Good Morning America, and others have visited and interviewed the happy family, finally at home with their precious baby boy.
And while Finn’s battle for survival has hit an important milestone, the family still has a long way to go.
According to the couple’s Go Fund Me page, Finn will be unable to go to daycare due to concerns about his immune system, which “will cause some long term financial strain.” So far 85 donors have raised $4500 of an $18000 goal on the page.
Despite the challenges, their experience with Finn has reminded Jessica and Chris of the value of life. "When his entire hand fits around your fingernail, it makes you realize just how precious life is,” said Jessica in an interview.
John Thomas is a freelance writer.
Photo courtesy: Irina Murza/Unsplash, this is a stock photo.