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Scarlett Fetsco

In 2019, Sydney Fetsco of Kingwood was expecting her first child, and things were going well until her 23rd week of pregnancy.

“I began leaking amniotic fluid, which eventually fully ruptured my entire amniotic sac of water. I went to the WVU Medicine Children’s Maternal Infant Care Center and was told I suffered from a condition known as PPROM, or preterm premature rupture of membranes,” Sydney said.

PPROM is a rare condition, only occurring in 3 percent of all pregnancies. It is one of the leading causes of premature births.

Sydney remained pregnant for another three weeks without any amniotic fluid, which plays an important role in fetal growth and development. She spontaneously went into labor at 26 weeks and three days.

Her daughter, Scarlett Eve Fetsco, was born by emergency C-section on December 7, 2019, which was also Sydney’s 24th birthday.

Baby Scarlett weighed 1 pound 13.3 ounces at birth. She was rushed to the WVU Medicine Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) immediately after birth and remained in there for 96 days.

During her NICU stay, she faced many challenges due to her extremely premature birth. She had a grade 2 brain bleed; an esophageal perforation; a right lung collapse, which required two chest tubes; a urinary tract infection; and stage 2 retinopathy of prematurity in her eyes (ROP), a serious condition that can lead to blindness. While in the NICU, Scarlett also had to gain weight and learn to eat from a bottle.

Today, Scarlett miraculously has no developmental delays. She is small in size for her age, but an overall healthy 2-year-old. She is right on track developmentally with others her age. She followed up with the outpatient NICU clinic and graduated from there just before she turned one year old. She still follows up with the WVU Eye Institute Pediatric Ophthalmology Clinic and currently has no signs that she ever had ROP.

Scarlett is very active these days, taking dance and gymnastics classes. She also loves swimming and going to the zoo.

“My family and I are so thankful for WVU Medicine Children’s for the excellent care they provided for Scarlett during her first few months of life. She received the best care I could ever ask for. I knew she was in good care when I left the NICU each night,” Sydney said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that without the WVU Medicine Children’s NICU, Scarlett would not be where she is today.”

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