Trey was just 1lb 9.4oz when he came into the world earlier than expected. A micro-preemie, he spent the first 104 days of his life in Gundersen Health System’s NICU.
Trey’s parents, Matthew and Elizabeth, were not expecting his early arrival at 24 weeks into Elizabeth’s pregnancy, and they were not prepared for the expenses that would incur from excessive traveling. They lived more than an hour away from Gundersen and missed work throughout Trey’s hospital stay.
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals was there for them during this scary time. Thanks to generous donors, the Nowak family received gas gift cards to help with their trips home, meal vouchers for hot meals in the Gundersen cafeteria so they could be by Trey’s side and assistance with continued medical expenses following Trey’s NICU discharge.
This helped with easing financial burden for the family amid uncertain and challenging circumstances. “You never know how beneficial programs like CMN are until you are the family in need,” said Elizabeth. “It was great to know the help was available at a time in our lives when we needed it most.”
Beyond the NICU, Trey also received continued care from David Nash, MD, a Gundersen ophthalmologist, for retinopathy of prematurity in both eyes. Thankfully, his eye condition corrected itself over time.
Today, 5-year-old Trey is an active kindergartner who enjoys basketball, T-ball, wrestling and pretending to be a superhero; however, Trey no longer has to pretend—we are proud to have him represent his immense strength and medical journey as one of this year’s CMN Hospitals Heroes.