Bringing Home Newborn from ICU Is Best Mother's Day Present She Ever Could Have Asked For


During my time in college, I was part of an organization called Dance Marathon. Dance Marathons across the country raise money for Children Miracle Network Hospitals, specifically for the neonatal intensive care unit and the pediatric center.

Through this organization, I got to meet families who have had to sit through holidays in the hospital, hoping and praying that their child would make it through the endless treatments they have to endure in order to have a chance at life.

Like so many of those families, Eloisa Fonseca, Andrew Oritz and their little son Mateo were set to spend this past Mother’s Day in the NICU.

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Fonseca’s due date was in early May, but she was hospitalized in January for complications with her pregnancy. Doctors told her that she would lose the baby within 72 hours, and they thought his lungs wouldn’t be fully developed.

On Feb. 10, three months early, she gave birth to little Mateo who weighed only 2 pounds, 9 ounces at the time.

“And he came out crying — screaming,” Fonseca said. The little family has been at Mercy San Juan Medical Center ever since the birth.

On Wednesday, May 9, the little baby weighed just over 8 pounds.

“He had a 1 percent chance to live — definitely he’s a miracle,” Fonseca said. “He’s a fighter for sure, from the beginning.”

The nurses at the NICU made personalized cards for the moms on Mother’s Day with their baby’s hand and footprints.

“I love it. It’s like this little memento that you can take home and they put love Mateo so it’s like from my little guy you know,” Fonseca told ABC 6.

But Fonseca received an even greater Mother’s Day gift: she finally got to bring Mateo home.

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“I’m never going to forget my first Mother’s Day,” she said. “I mean, coming home the weekend of, and just his whole birth story and what a miracle he is it’s like ‘wow, I get to take him home, pretty much on Mother’s Day,’ that’s awesome!”

“It’s like God saying, ‘I already gave you this amazing miracle baby but here’s just a little bit more.’ So it’s pretty cool, I’m excited, I really am. Can’t wait to have him home.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith