March for Babies will march to save youth lives

Sixteen months ago, a little girl named Josie Sukow surprised her parents by coming into this world 16 weeks early.

Every day, Josie’s mother, Jennie, celebrates ordinary things, like her baby eating and sleeping.

“I was holding my husband and crying and hoping that I’d wake up and she’d still be alive,” Jennie Sukow said.

Because of that, Sukow said she now knows more about medicine than she ever thought possible. She attributes this in a large part to March of Dimes.

“A few years ago, (Josie) probably wouldn’t have lived, and I just want people to know that she’s here with us because of technology,” Sukow said.

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That technology came thanks to research by the March of Dimes.

During her pregnancy, Sukow started bleeding at 20 weeks. Her amniotic fluid was low, and kept dropping, until baby Josie couldn’t breathe.

“I knew she was moving previous, but as the weeks went on, she stopped moving. So I knew something was going on,” Sukow said.

Sukow delivered at 24 weeks by emergency C-section. Josie, at 1 pound, 3 ounces, went straight to neonatal intensive care.

“It started with her breathing, stabilizing her and what machine to put her on,” Sukow said.

Doctors had Josie on a breathing machine for several months. She had two brain hemorrhages, heart valve surgery, and last fall she had re-constructive surgery to stay alive. 

“Basically, they took a piece of her rib and placed it in her airway to hold it open and it’s been amazing ever since,” Sukow said.

March of Dimes is hosting the March for Babies fundraiser on Saturday, May 5.

To learn more, they can visit the March for Babies website.