A Dog, a Suprise Delivery and a Tattoo: One Unforgettable Riley Story

This is Lolita Guerrero.

She and her fiancé, Willie, are from Coram, New York.

This is Rocky.

Lolita and Willie were on their way to Northern Indiana last November to pick up their new dog Rocky, but during their trip, they also got a surprise.

This is Ariel.

Lolita went into preterm labor and gave birth to Ariel in South Bend. She was born at 26 weeks’ gestation (14 weeks premature).

This is how tiny Ariel was when she was born.

She weighed a little more than 2 pounds.

This is Ariel a few months later in her room in the NICU at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

She was transferred to Riley by ambulance during a December snowstorm because she needed intestinal surgery.

This is Carrie Gorski-Murphy, RN, one of Ariel’s many friends in the NICU.

Carrie is one of countless Riley nurses, doctors, Child Life staff members and social workers who teamed up to take care of the whole family during their unexpected four-month stay. After Willie had to return to work at home in New York, Riley social workers even provided a flight voucher (courtesy of Southwest Airlines) so he could return to Riley to visit his daughter.

These are footprints and handprints from Ariel and Lolita, transformed into mermaids and sea creatures.

This artwork will soon be on display for Riley families to enjoy in the new outpatient surgery family waiting lounge.

And this is how much Ariel’s father appreciates the hospital that saved his daughter’s life.

Willie wears a new Riley wagon tattoo on his arm.

As the family prepares to bring Ariel home, this is Lolita’s message of gratitude for Riley Hospital’s staff:

“I’m so blessed. They are the best here at Riley. I am very thankful to them for saving my baby. She is a miracle. She is a fighter.”

Riley Children’s Foundation is grateful to the thousands of generous donors who help make stories like this possible. Thank you for supporting Riley Hospital.


Riley Blogger

The Riley Blog is written and/or edited by members of the Riley Children's Foundation Communications Staff.

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