LEE COUNTY, Fla.- The Regional Perinatal Intensive Care Center (RPICC) of Lee Memorial Health System was recently recognized for having the best neonatal survival rates of all RPICC centers in Florida. Lee Memorial Health System’s RPICC includes the high-risk OB unit at HealthPark Medical Center and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.
It is one of only 11 such facilities in the state, and the only one in the five-county Southwest Florida area. Its primary goals are to provide the best medical care to mothers during high-risk pregnancies, as well as care to low birth weight or critically ill infants while they are in the womb and after birth.
One Lee County family knows that first hand. Deborah and Matt Sellick's son Kayden was born at 22 weeks, weighing just one pound, 6 ounces, and measuring 12 inches long.
Deborah says, "we were told at the stage we were at, Kayden was not technically viable and that we should plan..in a different route basically. "When you're told the grim hope in the beginning, its hard to fathom losing a child that you've been watching grow in ultrasounds and everything."
But the Sellicks went to Healthpark Hospital where they say doctors never gave up on them. They credit those doctors and nurses for saving Kayden's life. He's now a happy, thriving 18-month-old. "To be a mom, and have someone else raising your kid for the first 4 months and keeping them alive, it's a hard thing to do. But the nursing staff there was amazing," she says.
Dad Matt Sellick says, "it's nice to have something like this in your backyard, and not have to travel to Miami or St. Pete." He adds, "I remember them telling us directly, ya know, he'll go as far as you'll let him and that kinda stuck with us to give him everything we can."
The Sellicks plan to host a golf tournament to raise money for the Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida, and they also often speak to other parents in the NICU to talk about their experiences.