Preemie Attached to Ventilator after Birth, Still in Hospital 3 Years Later


When Phalynn Graham was born, she was immediately attached to a ventilator. She had come two months prematurely, and her lungs had yet to fully develop.

Three years later, Phalynn has never left the hospital.

She’s still connected to the ventilators that saved her life when she was born.

So, Phalynn is facing the reality of growing up in the Ranken-Jordan hospital. “We’ve all fallen in love with Phalynn,” Katie Luner of Ranken-Jordan said.

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Phalynn’s mother loves her as well but hasn’t been able to escape heartache. Her daughter has been in the hospital since her birth, and her husband died when Phalynn was only two months old.

“We lost her dad when she was two months old so I haven’t enjoyed my baby because she hasn’t been home,” Tarvarshay Graham, Phaylnn’s mom, told KSDK.

Apart from doctors and nurses, Phaylnn has now spent more time at Ranken-Jordan than anyone.

Despite her extensive limitations, Phaylnn remains resilient.

“Coming from my neo-natal intensive care background often times these very premature infants have to be [tough] to survive. And she is certainly that,” Ranken’s President and CEO Lauri Tanner said.

After three years in the hospital, Phaylnn’s situation is starting to look a bit better.

Doctors are now able to take her off the ventilator twice a day for four hours.

“It’s like night and day,” Luner told KSDK. “She runs around the hospital, literally runs around the hospital. It’s amazing to watch.”

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Tanner credits her staff for keeping Phaylnn active while she’s been hooked up to the ventilator.

There’s still a long road ahead, but they do the best they can to make Ranken the best home they can for the little girl.

“I think our care beyond the bedside model is what’s brought that out in her,” Tanner said. “Because we’ve gotten her up and out of bed and engaged in different activities.”

“I just love Ranken. They like welcome me in with open arms,” Phaylnn’s mom said. “Everybody helps me.”

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