ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Jomary Tavarez and Federico Peguero’s lives as parents started in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Orlando Health Winnie Palmer hospital on Mother’s Day. Their daughter Diana was born prematurely just 9 inches long and weighing 12 ounces, as much as a large apple.
“It was surreal she was tiny; she was the tiniest human being I had ever seen; I couldn’t believe that she was still alive,” Tavarez said.
Jomary said she gave birth to baby Diana after she suffered pregnancy complications when she was only 20 weeks pregnant.
“I had a regular routine appointment and during the sonogram, they discovered that I was dilating, and they admitted me to the hospital and diagnosed me with an incompetent cervix, and I was in labor,” Tavarez said.
The first six months of her tiny life was spent hooked up to monitors and surrounded by medical professionals around the clock after the high-risk delivery.
“She was not responding for seven minutes,” Peguero, baby Diana’s father said. “I remember minute six and minute seven, they are like ‘nothing is happening what should we do?’ just keep trying please,” Peguero said.
While in the NICU Jomary said her adorable preemie faced multiple hurdles including some touch and go medical complications to survive, like brain bleeds, infections, and repeated blood transfusions.
“Three days turned into two weeks then months and she was thriving. She was doing well and defeating the odds,” Tavarez said.
The distance and time between visits were even harder for first-time parents from Ocala. Eventually, baby Diana’s health improved and earned her a place in Winnie Palmer’s history books as the tiniest baby to ever survive at Orlando Health.
“What I cherish the most is just her being here,” Peguero said. Baby Diana weighed 7lbs and 4-oz when Jomary and Federico stepped outside with her for the first time.