Autymn’s Story

Autymn’s parents have always called her a “miracle baby.” Delivered at a Kentucky hospital just a few days after Christmas, 26-week old Autymn weighed only 1 pound 6 ounces at birth. She was immediately put on specialized equipment in the NICU to help her underdeveloped lungs breathe. Doctors told the Tacketts that Autymn had bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and pulmonary hypertension, both life-threatening conditions. When their doctor told them that Nationwide Children’s had one of the few Comprehensive Treatment and Research Centers for Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia in the country, Autymn’s parents knew they had to go.

From the moment she arrived at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Autymn kept making improvements. Doctors discovered that Autymn’s pulmonary hypertension was from her strained efforts to breathe. With her breathing stabilized, Autymn no longer needed heart medication. With the help of speech, occupational and physical therapists, Autymn has started to reach regular developmental milestones. “Before, she was working so hard to breathe, she couldn’t just be a baby and do things that babies do. The help Autymn got here has let her become a normal baby,” says her father Erick.

Even after Autymn returns home, the experts at Nationwide Children’s will continue to evaluate her progress – and learn from her experiences so that other children with BPD can get the help they need. As one of the few institutions in the country that conducts pediatric translational research – the kind of research that transforms discoveries from the lab into life-saving treatments – Nationwide Children’s is able to design and deliver innovative care that ultimately helps children everywhere.

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Autymn’s parents have always called her a “miracle baby.” Delivered at a Kentucky hospital just a few days after Christmas, 26-week old Autymn weighed only 1 pound 6 ounces at birth. She was immediately put on specialized equipment in the NICU to help her underdeveloped lungs breathe. Doctors told the Tacketts that Autymn had bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and pulmonary hypertension, both life-threatening conditions. When their doctor told them that Nationwide Children’s had one of the few Comprehensive Treatment and Research Centers for Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia in the country, Autymn’s parents knew they had to go.

From the moment she arrived at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Autymn kept making improvements. Doctors discovered that Autymn’s pulmonary hypertension was from her strained efforts to breathe. With her breathing stabilized, Autymn no longer needed heart medication. With the help of speech, occupational and physical therapists, Autymn has started to reach regular developmental milestones. “Before, she was working so hard to breathe, she couldn’t just be a baby and do things that babies do. The help Autymn got here has let her become a normal baby,” says her father Erick.

Even after Autymn returns home, the experts at Nationwide Children’s will continue to evaluate her progress – and learn from her experiences so that other children with BPD can get the help they need. As one of the few institutions in the country that conducts pediatric translational research – the kind of research that transforms discoveries from the lab into life-saving treatments – Nationwide Children’s is able to design and deliver innovative care that ultimately helps children everywhere.

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