Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

Congratulations to Our 2014 Preemie Power Contest Winners

2014 Preemie PowerWe are pleased to announce the winners for Hand to Hold’s Fifth Annual Preemie Power Photo and Essay Contest during Prematurity Awareness Month.  Families who entered their children represented 32 states in the U.S. and we received entries from as far away as Israel, Mexico, Canada, and Peru! After you voted, our fearless judges were  given the difficult task of selecting the winners from the pool of finalists. We are grateful to our judges Stephanie Hall, NICU Nurse Practitioner & NICU Heroes Winner 2014 (South Carolina); Dr. Stewart Lawrence, neonatologist & NICU Heroes Winner 2014 (Idaho); Kathy Knoll, NICU Nurse & NICU Heroes Finalist 2014 (Colorado); Michelle White, NICU Nurse & NICU Heroes Finalist 2014 (Alabama); Katie Talkington, NICU Parent (Texas) and Kristin Knight, NICU Parent (Texas).

Your amazing, heroic children inspire us all and remind us of the bravery, perseverance and resilence these amazing preemie and NICU graduates show us every day.  That’s why each special story, as many as we can, will be featured on our Hand to Hold webpage and our Hand to Hold Facebook page to help pass on hope to families throughout the year.

Special thanks to our contest sponsors: Mead Johnson Nutrition/Enfamil, Timeless Medical Systems, Neotech Products, Sundance Solutions, and The Boppy Company.

Drumroll, please…

0-6 Months & Overall Winner

Lil Warrior

Age: 5-1/2 months
Weight at Birth: 1 lb 14 oz
Weeks Gestation: 26
Time spent in the NICU: 125 days +21 days in PICU totally 146 days

Super Hero Characteristics Resilient, Conqueror, Courageous, Inspiring, he smiles in the face of adversity……I could go on and on. 🙂 (He has 2 amazing sidekicks in his brother and mom too!)

Read his full story online.

7-12 Months

Dynamic Duo: Outstanding Owen & Bionic Bryce

Age: 9 months
Weight at Birth: 3lbs 13oz and 3lbs
Weeks Gestation: 30w 5d
Time spent in the NICU: 6 weeks

Super Hero Characteristics:
Bravery – Owen and Bryce have been through more than most grown adults have been through medically and continue to amaze the world around them!

Strength- Owen and Bryce are super strong! They have the strength to overcome anything that comes their way.

Power- Owen and Bryce have the power to make everyone around them smile! Read their full story online.

1-2 Years

Savvy G

Age: 15 mos (12 mos adjusted)
Weight at Birth: 1lb 2oz
Weeks Gestation: 27 weeks 5 days
Time spent in the NICU: 109 days (plus 120 in PICU)

Super Hero Characteristics
1.Radiation Immunity (def: having an invulnerability to forms of radiation) – Just like Iron Man, Savvy G has radiation immunity power … I lost count of how many x-rays she has had around 90(ish).

2. Super Breath (def: enhanced breath; the ability to create high lung pressure)
With her vent, trach and oxygen, Savvy G has the best lung pressure to fight off her pulmonary hypertension!!!!!

3. Endurance (def: stamina; the capability of sustaining prolonged stressful effort)
Savvy G has undergone 3 blood transfusions, 3 surgeries, 2 non-surgical OR procedures, 4 central line IV placements, too many standard IV’s to count, anesthesia, and countless infections …. but she NEVER gives up!!! Thank you Lord for our strong, courageous, brave fighter … Savvy G is our SUPER HERO!!! Read her full story online.

2+-5 Years

Jonny McDash

Age: 2
Weight at Birth: 1 lb 5 oz (600 grams)
Weeks Gestation: 23
Time spent in the NICU: 150 days

Super Hero Characteristics: Primary superpowers: Speed, quickness, and super-fastness. Also good at being early and fighting supervillians. Read his full story online.

5+ Years


Hero of Hope

Age: 5
Weight at Birth: 2 lbs 10 oz
Weeks Gestation: 28
Time spent in the NICU: 3 months

Super Hero Characteristics: Powerful, Resilient, Powerful.
Read her full story online.

Thundering Thurston Award (Most Votes)

Smiley Gayily

Age: 6 months
Weight at Birth: 1.6 kilos
Weeks Gestation: 33
Time spent in the NICU: 101 days

Super Hero Characteristics: Avigayil can fly into the hearts of every one around her faster than a speeding bullet. With the incredible ability to charm anyone she can even make the most serious and experienced doctors and nurses smile and coo.

She has amazing agility seen in her talent of being able to remove any tube or cord placed on/in her within 5 minutes, even under sedation!

Mind Control! She brightens peoples day and has touched the lives of people she has never even met as they keep up with her story online.

She goes on every day with her super strength and determination. It is that quality that is helping her parents and 4 brothers and sisters to make it through each day. Read her full story online.

Staff Favorite

Alonso Big Cheeks

Age: 9 months
Weight at Birth: 500 g
Weeks Gestation: 23
Time spent in the NICU: 154 days

Super Hero Characteristics: Healing power. Every time Alonso was sick during his NICU stay, when the doctors were more worried about his health, suddenly he became better.

Incredible sense of humor. Alonso was a little more than 2 pounds when he began smiling hearing the voice of his mother. Now he smiles and laughs all the time, he is a happy baby.

Growing factor. Alonso has a great capacity to convert his mother´s milk into growth and health. He was born very early and very small but before his due date his weight was okay and his feeding abilities are progressing. Read his full story online.

Executive Director’s Awards

Our Fighting Princess

Age: 16
Weight at Birth: 2-1/2 lbs.
Weeks Gestation: 26
Time spent in the NICU: 4-1/2 months

Super Hero Characteristics: Happy, Fighter, Loving. Read her full story online.

General Grant

Age: 19
Weight at Birth: 1 lb. 14 oz
Weeks Gestation: 26-1/2
Time spent in the NICU: 12 weeks

Super Hero Characteristics: Determined, Resilient, Confident. Read his full story online.

Amy Carr About Amy Carr

Amy Carr (TX) is a parent of a late-term preemie, Ella, born at 35 weeks. After an uneventful pregnancy, Ella's early birth and the complications that followed were a shock. Now in elementary school, her daughter is doing well and Amy enjoys using her writing, marketing and communications acumen on behalf of nonprofits and charitable causes. Formerly a founding staff member at Hand to Hold, you can reach Amy via email.

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