Our Stories - Violet Williams

Months of Expert Care Lead to a Happy Homecoming

It took months for baby Violet Williams to finally meet her two sisters and brother – in person anyway.

“It was too risky to have them visit her at Albany Med, so we did ‘FaceTime’ on our iPhones,” recalled Violet’s mother, Toni Williams of Little Falls in Herkimer County.

Violet Williams was born 15 weeks early. The care she received while in the NICU at Albany Med helped her grow into a happy and healthy baby.
Violet Williams was born 15 weeks early, weighing just a pound and a half.
For months after she was born last Valentine’s Day -- 15 weeks early and weighing only a pound-and-a-half, Violet’s home was Albany Med’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Violet is one of 900 premature and critically ill babies from 25 counties in New York and western New England who receive advanced, highly specialized care in our new NICU every year.

Looking back, Ms. Williams said, “She was born on a Friday. The following Monday she had intestinal surgery and an ileostomy.” And that was just the beginning.

The surgery was for a rare, gastrointestinal disease that interferes with an infant’s nutrition and growth. But Violet also suffered from a staph infection, a collapsed lung and a hernia.

“It’s been a battle, and it’s scary,” Ms. Williams continued. “We worked so hard to get her to gain weight. I was thrilled the day she finally passed the two-pound mark. That was big!”
Violet continues to grow and thrive under the watchful eyes of her siblings Lilli, Raelynn and Luke.
Violet continues to grow and thrive under the watchful eyes of her siblings Lilli, Raelynn and Luke.

Constant communications with Violet’s doctors and nurses on Albany Med’s NICU team helped Toni Williams with the stress of what she calls a “roller coaster ride of emotions.”

“They’ve been phenomenal,” she said, flashing a huge smile. “Any questions you had, they’d answer and break it down so we could understand it.  We put our trust and faith in them and knew that Violet was in good hands. Watching how hard she fought gave me strength”

Violet’s mother said the whole experience was a “step-by-step process,” looking for progress every day - progress that continues now that Violet is home. The infant, who once weighed one-and-a-half pounds, is now approaching seven pounds, growing under the watchful eye of three grateful siblings.

“The day she came home, Memorial Day, my 12-year-old daughter pulled up a chair and just sat there watching her. We’re all so happy to have her home, to have our family all together,” said Ms. Williams, repeating how grateful they all are to the team at Albany Med.

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