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Elf on the Shelf helping brighten the spirits of premature baby

Womens and Children's Hospital going the extra mile to help make patients comfortable

Thursday, December 20, 2012 - 4:41pm

Tucker Richard came into this world on October 19, three months earlier than expected.  He came out a whopping one pound and four ounces, leaving his parents spending Christmas in a different setting than they had planned.

"You kind of form a family in here.  You're here more than twice a day, you know this is pretty much, most days this is who you talk to.  You talk to the nurses.  This is kind of family and it's been like that for two months for us," says Allyson Tucker, Tucker's mother.

Afew days after Thanksgiving, Tucker had a surprise visitor.

"Santa sent Fred and Fred sat in an incubator for about two days," says Allyson.

Fred is their family's "elf on the shelf."

"Fred just got really active one day.  We come back each day and each day they have something different for Fred to do," Allyson says.

The nurses taking care of Tucker have adopted Fred, and each day have Fred doing something different.  Fred has zip-lined, had a spa day, and today Fred was celebrating Tucker's two month old birthday.

"We know how hard it is for parents to leave their kids here and go home at night.  Any little thing that we can do to just make the parents more comfortable we try to do," says Sarah Ivlings, NICU nurse.

The nurses giving Tucker so much love and attention helps Allyson to be more at ease during this impossibly stressful time.

"Oh it's been a second home for us, it's definitely felt like a home," says Allyson.

Tucker's mom says that although it's extremely difficult having to see Tucker fight for his life so hard at two months old, it makes it better knowing that the nurses here at Womens and Children's care so much.

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I have never been more in Awe than I am when I look at the amazing strength in that little man! He has such a large personality , especially for some so incredibly small. I Love You, baby Tucker! I Love You, Too Fred! Your Nanny is so proud! And a big Thank You, to the amazing Nursing staff in the NICU! You are a very special group! You truely are light in the dark! Thank you again!

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