Baby girl born at 25 weeks goes home after incredible year-long recovery

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A baby girl born extremely premature is getting her happy homecoming to Plymouth at last, after spending her first year fighting for life against health complications.

“She is finally here and just ready to live her life,” said Darlene Foster, mother of one-year-old Bradi Foster.

Foster was discharged from Franciscan Children’s Hospital in Brighton after spending the past several months in its rehabilitative care. The blue-eyed baby girl was born last July at just 25 weeks, due to placental abruption. She was first rushed to Boston Children’s Hospital, where she endured multiple infections and underwent cardiac surgery.

Bradi was in severely rough shape by January 2022. She was breathing through a ventilator and taking her food intravenously.

But in just a matter of days, she made an incredible recovery through assistance provided by a heart-lung machine.

She grew strong enough for a transfer to Franciscan’s, where she was gradually weaned off her ventilator and intravenous food. Throughout her fight, nobody maintained a better attitude than Bradi herself, her parents said.

“She is just here to love everybody. Anyone who walks in her room, from her nurses to the respiratory therapists to the people cleaning her room, she just has her arms out ready to love them. So if anybody’s having a bad day they just go see her, and she just gives them a smile and all the love,” Darlene Foster said.

“She’s such a bright personality for someone who’s gone through what she’s gone through,” her father, James Foster, said.

Bradi’s grown strong enough to crawl around and stand with some assistance. The one-year-old will be able to continue to improve her physical mobility through the help of a special medical device just recently introduced to patients at Franciscan’s: a specialized feeding tube backpack.

The animal-themed backpacks look like any kid’s bag a parent might buy at Target, but they’re specially constructed to hold medical feeding equipment. Kids simply strap them onto their backs and hook their gastronomy tubes up to the device.

“There’s a little tube that goes to them, and it gives them full mobility so they can really experience what life at home is going to be like,” said Franciscan Children’s patient advocate Amanda Voysey.

Bradi will need that mobility to navigate life with her three older sisters, who are delighted to welcome their baby sister home, Darlene said.

Her oldest sister has already been inspired by Bradi’s battle.

“The six-year-old is beyond excited, she’s already decided she’s going to be a doctor at (Franciscan) … so she can save the babies, just like they saved her baby sister,” Darlene Foster said.

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