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You’ll likely recognize Anson as the oh-so-smiley face of 2022 Summer Scamper.

“Anson is super happy and friendly and curious,” says Anson’s mom, Shirley.  “He loves to be around people, especially kids who are a little bit older than he is.”

Shirley and her husband, Jason, are deeply grateful with how far Anson has come since his first months in the Packard Children’s Hospital neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Shirley’s water broke 24 weeks into her pregnancy.

“You immediately wonder, ‘Is that what I think it is?’” Shirley recalls. She had always planned to deliver at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, and part of that decision was that the care team would be ready for any scenario, just like this.

The care team confirmed that it was indeed amniotic fluid, and Shirley was immediately admitted to the hospital. The doctors and nurses focused on keeping her labor from progressing. Every day was important to give Anson the chance to continue to develop in utero.

“There was a night nurse, Kristy, who was with us for the first few nights who helped us calm down and made us feel so much better,” recalls Shirley. “And another nurse, Catherine, posted a calendar in my hospital room to help me track our progress.”

The days turned into a week, then two, and ultimately six. Jason slept in Shirley’s hospital room for the first week and then visited all day every day, keeping her company and working remotely—an ironic benefit of being hospitalized during the newly unfolding pandemic.

A month and a half after she was placed on bed rest, Shirley delivered Anson. He was 10 weeks early and faced health challenges linked to premature birth. Anson needed a CPAP for breathing support and received light therapy for jaundice. Later into his NICU stay he was diagnosed with chronic lung disease.

The doctors and nurses in our NICU monitored Anson closely, provided outstanding care, and helped Shirley and Jason gain the confidence they’d need to care for their baby themselves when he was finally discharged 10 weeks later.

“They took the time to do a ‘mom prep’ day for me ahead of his discharge because they could tell I was nervous,” Shirley recalls.

In total, the family spent four months at Packard Children’s Hospital. They say they look back on their time with gratitude for the care they received.

Today, Anson is a fun-loving toddler who loves being spoiled by his grandparents and running around. We hope you’ll join us as we cheer on Anson at his first Summer Scamper on June 18.