November 2, 2014

The Gannon Boys

Brothers Isaac, Eli and Able were all cared for in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt

Twenty-seven weeks into their pregnancy, Bekah and Christopher Gannon were faced with a decision no parents should ever have to make.

Doctors at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt told the couple, who were expecting fraternal twins, that they’d lose one of the babies unless Bekah had an emergency C-section. But by doing this, they’d risked the life of the other twin, who was fine and would most likely be carried to term.

The Gannons decided to go ahead with the C-section, and Isaac and Eli were born at just a bit over two and one pounds respectively.

“All that was very scary,” recalls Bekah. “I’m lying there on the operation table and my husband’s there, and we are just holding our breath, praying that they are able to intubate Eli. Which is so crazy because normally that would be your worst nightmare.”

Isaac made steady progress in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and left after four months. Eli had more of an up and down battle but was able to leave the NICU after five months.

Approximately two years later, the couple was pregnant again.

“This was supposed to be our happy, healthy baby, but it just wasn’t. Abel ended up in the NICU for 8 days. Nothing major, no surgeries—his lungs were just a little underdeveloped. But it broke our hearts just the same.”

Nevertheless, Bekah, who is a child life specialist at Children’s Hospital, feels a strong, personal connection to the hospital.

“To have experienced some of the worst moments of my life here and walk away with deep love and gratitude that’s because of care we received here—from the doctors to the nurses to the people who cleaned our room.”

“We feel blessed that we live in Nashville. And it’s such a gift that I get to be their mom.”