After five months in the hospital, Britni and Mike Mackintosh welcomed their baby, Gracie, home.
“It’s been so long, that it’s hard to believe we’re here,” Britni Mackintosh said.
At 22 weeks pregnant, complications landed Britni Mackintosh in the high-risk unit at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena. Two weeks later, she says she had to have an emergency cesarean section because the baby’s heart was in distress.
When Gracie was born, she weighed just over 1 pound.
“She had a grade three and a grade four brain bleed. Her lungs being so tiny were compromised. They gave her a 30% chance of survival,” said Gracie’s grandmother, Suzi Dunkel-Soto.
Gracie was intubated and on a ventilator for about three months, and she had multiple infections and blood transfusions, and required a gastrostomy tube, her family says. But she was a fighter from the start.
“From the very beginning, at 1 pound, they knew she was feisty. She would make it through,” Britni said.
Now at 10 pounds and out of the hospital, she’s their miracle.
“To go from where she was to where she is today, it’s only an act of God,” Gracie’s grandfather, Robert Soto, said.
Due to the pandemic, visitors weren’t allowed in the hospital so family members weren’t able to meet her until five months after she was born.
“She was born May 9th and she’s been in the hospital everyday since then,” Mike said.
“We were the only ones in the NICU,” Britni added, saying they could each only be with her one at a time. “Today is the first time we were in there together.”
Family members gathered at the Mackintoshs’ Alhambra home for the long-awaited celebration.
“I cried because she was a human being,” said Gracie’s other grandmother, Pat Mackintosh. “We’ve never seen her. It was a miracle coming out of the hospital.”
Britni and Mike Mackintosh say they’re grateful for all the support from their family, as well as the doctors and nurses who took care of Gracie.
“They did everything,” Mike Mackintosh said. “They saved her life.”
Now, they say they’ll take it day by day and enjoy their time together.
“She’s the size of a newborn. But she’s very special,” Britni Mackintosh said. “She has a lot of needs. It’s crazy that we’ve been trusted to take care of someone so special.”