Kingwood
June 15, 2015

Kingwood, Texas  – Born at 26 weeks and 6 days, twin boys, Elijah Ray Rodriguez and Ezekiel Ray Rodriguez have faced an uphill battle due to their prematurity and have been receiving specialized care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at The Women & Children’s Center at Kingwood Medical Center. The twins were born on March 25, 2015 at 5:30 a.m. Ezekiel weighed 1 pound and 9 ounces and measured 13 inches long, and Elijah weighed 2 pounds and measured 13 inches long. Over the past two and a half months their parents Kristi Elliot and Elias Rodriguez have been visiting the NICU at The Women and Children’s Center every day and watching their babies grow stronger.

After spending 10 weeks in the NICU, Ezekiel now weighs 4 pounds and Elijah weighs 4 pounds 8 ounces. The twins have faced many hardships, but their parents never stopped believing that their sons would survive. They know their little boys are fighters and believe God is watching over them.

At six months into her pregnancy, Ms. Elliot started having contractions. She was admitted into The Women and Children’s Center and placed on bed rest in the antepartum suite. She dilated prematurely and her OB-GYN Dr. Noel Boyd performed an emergency cesarean section.

“When the babies were born, they were so tiny they could fit into the palm of our hands. It was so hard seeing them for the first time,” said Elliot. “Due to their prematurity and size, we were not able to hold them. We were told how hard the journey would be and that our babies could be in the NICU until they reach their original due date of June 25th.”

Kristi Elliot and Elias Rodriguez with Elijah and Ezekiel“It was difficult to go home without them for the first night. But the nurses have all been amazing. They have made us feel very secure. They know the twins by their names and take care of them like they are their own. Over the past two months, I have become close to all the nurses in the NICU and know they are providing the best care for our babies,” said Elliot.

“We live 45 minutes away from the hospital, and when we leave, we entrust the lives of our sons to the nurses. They make you feel special at Kingwood Medical Center and we love the way they care for our boys. We trust all our nurses and we know our babies are very safe in the NICU. The unit is secure and only staff with special badges and validated visitors are allowed in the NICU,” said Rodriguez.

On day twelve, Ms. Elliot was able to hold Elijah for the first time on her bare chest, skin to skin, and Ezekiel followed soon after on day fourteen. The twins began to share the same bed on week five. Two months after Elijah was born, Ms. Elliot was able to breastfeed him. She expects Ezekiel will follow soon.

“We are so grateful for the donor breastmilk provided by the milk bank. We believe their health improved greatly because they were prescribed and received breastmilk in the NICU instead of formula,” said Elliot. “Now, I am able to provide all their nourishment.”

Elijah graduated from the NICU at The Women & Children’s Center the first week of June and Ezekiel joined his brother at home on June 14th.

“It was a pleasure to meet Kristi and listen to her describe the past two months of motherhood including the ups and downs, the excitement and fears, but mostly, the overwhelming appreciation for the nurses in the NICU," said Melinda Stephenson, CEO of Kingwood Medical Center. “It was a very proud moment for me as CEO.”

“We are excited to announce the addition of our new Pediatric Emergency Center scheduled to open in August 2015. The new center reinforces our hospital's commitment to meet the present and future healthcare needs of families like the Elliot – Rodriguez, and will allow our superior medical staff and outstanding team of employees to continue providing safe and expedited care for children at our hospital," said Ms. Stephenson.

Kingwood Medical Center’s NICU team consists of Neonatologists, Maternal Fetal Medicine physicians, Pediatric Cardiologists, Pediatric Endocrinologists, Pediatric Neurologists, Pediatric Pulmonologists and Pediatric Ophthalmologists. Our neonatal nurse practitioners and registered nurses are with your baby 24/7 and until the babies in our NICU are strong and healthy enough to go home to their families, they are a part of ours.

For more information about The Women & Children’s Center at Kingwood Medical Center, please visit www.KingwoodMedical.com. For a physician referral, please call 1-800-258-5064.

About Kingwood Medical Center

22999 U.S. Highway 59 North, Kingwood, TX  77339

Kingwood Medical Center is an acute care facility comprised of 24-hour emergency services. It is home to the area’s comprehensive cardiac care program and neuroscience program. The hospital is recognized by the state of Texas as a Primary Stroke Center, is Joint Commission Accredited for Disease Specific Certification in Stroke, has an Accredited Sleep Disorder Center, an Accredited Diabetes Center and offers a myriad of services to patients, including: Level II and III neonatal intensive care units, women’s services, high risk obstetrics program, breast diagnostic center, designated pediatric unit, observation unit, surgical services, inpatient rehabilitation, laboratory and diagnostic imaging services on-site, a Center for Wound Care, and a 24 Hour Emergency Care Center in Fall Creek. Kingwood Medical Center: Quality Care, Close to Home. www.KingwoodMedical.com

About HCA Gulf Coast Division

7400 Fannin, Suite 650, Houston, TX 77054

HCA Gulf Coast Division is a comprehensive network of hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, emergency centers and diagnostic imaging facilities.  It offers a complete continuum of specialized health programs and services that meet the needs of Greater Houston and South Texas’ residents and businesses.  HCA affiliated facilities in the Gulf Coast Division include: 13 hospitals, 8 ambulatory centers, 6  off-campus emergency centers, and a regional transfer center that provides one-phone-call access and support for patient transfers into and out of the HCA Gulf Coast Division Affiliated Hospitals, as well as access to ground and air transportation within a 150-mile radius.  For more information, visit our website at www.HCAGulfCoast.com.