When Drs. Lilian Chen and Abhishek “Sunny” Chatterjee found out they were expecting a baby girl, they trusted Tufts Medical Center with their care. When Sophia was born at 27 weeks, they were thankful they did.
“Things could have gone very wrong, but they didn’t because of the expertise, the communication…the absolute professionalism of everyone at Tufts MC,” said Sunny.
Lilian first noticed a spike in her blood pressure at just 26 weeks into her pregnancy. After speaking to her obstetrician, Dr. Thao Thieu, she was quickly admitted to the hospital with preeclampsia where doctors and nurses began to monitor mom and baby closely. Unfortunately, Lilian progressed to HELLP syndrome, which can be life threatening. After collaborative discussion with their care team, Lilian and Sunny decided to urgently deliver their baby at 27 weeks. Sophia came into this world at 1 pound, 10 ounces and even surprised everyone in the surgical suite with her very first cry! She was then quickly taken to the Tufts Children’s Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where she received extensive, highly specialized care for the next 90 days by an outstanding team of neonatal physicians and nurses.
At first, Sophia had breathing problems and required intensive respiratory support. She was given surfactant, a medication to help her lungs develop, and airway support with a breathing tube. She also had a heart condition which many premature infants have called a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) which was able to improve with medication. She required a feeding tube to eat and was very slow to gain weight. She later underwent three hernia surgeries with Dr. Artur Chernoguz. Three months later, when Sophia weighed 6 pounds, 6 ounces, she was finally strong enough to go home and meet the rest of her family.
“My husband and I are so grateful for everyone who took care of us at Tufts. From the first moment we were admitted to Labor and Delivery to the excellent care our daughter received from the NICU team. Everyone took such great care of Sophia!” says Lilian. “It was in the NICU where my husband and I held her for the first time. The NICU nurses were especially great, and we were so relieved to have such a professional team who cared about our baby.”
The couple has worked at Tufts Medical Center for five years. Dr. Chatterjee is the Division Chief of Plastic Surgery and Dr. Chen is the Division Chief of Colon & Rectal Surgery. When they found out they were pregnant, they researched the best place to have their first baby. “We spoke to many of our own colleagues who we trusted, and they recommended Tufts.” says Sunny. “We knew it was the right decision because Tufts is our family. We knew we were going to be in the best of hands with our colleagues. The support we received during this difficult time is priceless. We don’t have the words to thank everyone who helped us bring our baby home.” Sophia was discharged on March 10th, 2021, her original due date, and now weighs 10lbs.