Preemie baby goes home after nearly a year in hospital

Preemie baby goes home after nearly a year in hospital

And baby makes three! Tuesday, a Melrose family left Franciscan Children's Hospital with their first child, but he's not a newborn, he's almost a year old. His premature birth left him hospitalized since September, but now, he's finally heading home.

“I can't really even describe all of the emotions that I'm feeling right now,” said Meghan Mullaney.

First-time mom, Meghan Mullaney's best laid plans could never have anticipated this.

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"It's been a really long journey for us, so we are just beyond excited to get him home,” said Mullaney.

At almost 11-months old, her son Eamonn is going home for the first time.

"Today's a big day,” said Dr. Elisabeth Schainker, Franciscan Children's.

Eamonn was born extremely prematurely at just 21 weeks. It meant his body was underdeveloped and caused issues with his lungs and his intestines, which meant surgery and a ventilator. For doctors at Franciscan Children's Hospital, it's been one challenge after another.

"We've been very slowly working with him and getting him bigger.  Getting his lungs stronger, and now, he's at the point where he can be off the ventilator for about eight hours at a time and he's ready and stable enough to go home,” said Dr. Schainker.

At the same time, they've been readying Eamonn's parents for the day they could bring him home.

“I had no idea that I had it in me.  And I had no idea that a little baby could endure so much and come out like this either. He amazes me every single day,” said Mullaney.

Eamonn will still need specialized care. He'll get it at home in a nursery left long overdue for his arrival.

“In the very beginning, it was extremely hard to be going home every day and not have my newborn child with me. Going in his nursery and seeing it empty every day, and driving into Boston to have to see him every day has been extremely hard,” said Mullaney. “Now I get to wake up with him every morning.  I get to put him to bed every night.  And, I just can't wait.”

You might assume that the Mullaney's would be met by family and friends. They say that will come, but for the first night, they've decided it will be just the three of them.