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Germantown, Tennessee,
09:43 PM

Tiny Super Hero Thrives at Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital


Weighing a mere 1 pound 13 ounces at birth, little Sebastian Mata Ortiz is growing and thriving with the help of a team of medical professionals in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital.

Sebastian was born at just 25 weeks, 15 weeks early. Coming into this world so early left Sebastian with few organs that were fully developed. The medical team had to support his lungs, liver, kidneys, and skin, which was paper thin. Bruce Jenkins, M.D., Director of Neonatal Services for Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital, describes Sebastian as “little, but feisty.”

But to mom, Alejandra Mata Ortiz, her little guy is not so little. He’s now grown to over five pounds. “It’s amazing. He’s so big.”

Ten years ago, few of these extremely premature babies could survive. Today, following best practices and evidenced-based medicine, along with standardized care and infection prevention, gives the tiniest babies 24 to 26 weeks of a 40 week pregnancy, a 60 to 80 percent chance of surviving and thriving.

Dr. Jenkins says the nursing expertise in Methodist Germantown’s NICU is key to low birth weight babies develop into strong and hearty babies.

“It’s a team effort, and our nurses are the major reason for our babies’ success,” said Jenkins. “They are dedicated to supporting these babies.”

Sebastian’s mother agrees. “The nurses are excellent. They’re taking excellent care of him. They even made him a Superman cape.”

Caring for her family is a lot of work. She’s exhausted after working, caring for one year old son, and coming to see Sebastian at the hospital.

“Seeing him is what keeps me going. I thought he wasn’t going to make it. I am so, so gratefully. I’ve never prayed so much or cried so much.”

“My job is extremely rewarding,” said Dr. Jenkins. “I see babies who I took care of grow up to play football and soccer.”

Dr. Jenkins expects to send Sebastian home to mom, dad, and big brother, in five to six weeks.

Story Update Sept. 11, 2017

Little Sebastian has graduated and gone home!