Palm City, FL -- Mason Hoover spent the first nine months of his life at Broward Health's Salah Foundation Children's Hospital. Born at just 23 weeks and weighing one pound, four ounces, he battled multiple brain bleeds, numerous surgeries and other complications.
Doctors told Mason's mother, Rochelle, that Mason would most likely have a poor quality of life due to all the setbacks he faced from being born prematurely — but little Mason defied the odds. “He’s a miracle baby and the happiest little boy,” Rochelle said of Mason, who’s now almost two years old and thriving. “He’s had so many complications and bumps in the road, but it never holds him back.”
Rochelle is grateful for the caregivers at Salah Foundation Children’s Hospital who became like family during Mason’s nine-month stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). “I felt like we were never going home,” Rochelle said. “But the staff was just so wonderful. Mason was where he needed to be and he was in the right hands."
Rochelle is especially grateful for Jessica Gnandt, RN who was Mason’s NICU nurse during his entire hospital stay. Jessica advocated for Mason’s care and answered all of Rochelle’s questions during his multiple surgeries and procedures. “It’s just amazing what they can do for such fragile, little lives,” Rochelle said of the NICU team.
Jessica and Rochelle forged a special bond while working toward the same goal of sending home a healthy baby boy. Jessica’s passion for NICU nursing stems from her love of children. “Mason is the reason why we do what we do,” Jessica said. “This is the beauty of it. With everything that happened to him and everything that went wrong, he overcame it all and he’s stronger for it. Mason is one resilient little boy. He exceeded everyone’s expectations.”
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