Sunday, May 20 , 2018, 11:06 pm | Fair 61º


Marian Hospital’s Tiniest NICU Baby Turning 5

Ellie Moomey weighed less than 2 pounds when she arrived 15 weeks early in 2012

tiny Ellie Moomey in Marian Regional Medical Center NICU, left, in 2012, and, this year, holding her 4-month-old brother Oliver.
tiny Ellie Moomey in Marian Regional Medical Center NICU, left, in 2012, and, this year, holding her 4-month-old brother Oliver. (Marian Regional Medical Center)

Ellie Moomey, Marian Regional Medical Center’s (MRMC) smallest and youngest neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) baby, turns five in August and is getting ready to conquer kindergarten next.

Five years ago when she came into this world 15 weeks early, weighing less than 2 pounds, these milestones were far from assured. Today, however, Ellie is a healthy, happy big sister who dotes on her little brother, Oliver.

Brittany Moomey, Ellie’s mother, describes her daughter as a true extrovert who simply loves people and talking, more specifically telling jokes. Ellie shares her energetic spirit with those around her where ever she goes.

While there have been the expected adjustments with a new sibling in the house, Ellie truly adores her 4-month-old brother and tells him he is “the cutest baby ever.”

Just a few short months after the opening of the new NICU in 2012, when she was 25 weeks into her pregnancy, Brittany gave birth to Ellie who weighed a mere 1 pound, 15 ounces. Ellie was so small she fit in the palm of her mother’s hand.

Her fragile life was a day-to-day journey as staff in Marian’s NICU provided care with the utmost sensitivity and judgment.

As Ellie grows older, her mother reports she is beginning to understand her life story unexpectedly started 3 1/2 months sooner than planned.

An early picture of Ellie connected to numerous tubes and monitors initially shocked Ellie, but over time, Brittany says her daughter is beginning to realize how hard she fought to stay alive.

Ironically but fortunately, Oliver was born at Marian past his due date with no complications. Throughout this pregnancy, Brittany talked to Oliver to tell him to stay inside, but Ellie would tell her brother to hurry and come out.

Once her mother explained why the baby needed to stay inside, Ellie understood and duly amended her advice for Oliver, instructing him to stay inside.

It was only at the end of her pregnancy that Brittany reassured Ellie it was okay for Oliver to come out now.

After spending three months at Marian after Ellie’s vulnerable birth, the Moomey family had bonded with the health care team as they all fought for Ellie’s life. A couple of nurses who cared for Ellie even came to visit the Moomeys after Oliver was born.

The Moomeys have attended the NICU reunions at Marian every year and remain grateful for not only the provision of high-quality care but also the lifelong connection they have with Marian.

“We had yet another positive experience at Marian with Oliver’s birth and appreciate how caring the nurses and everyone are,” said Brittany.

As we celebrate Ellie’s fifth birthday, Marian Regional Medical Center is also celebrating the fifth anniversary of the new hospital opening.

When the new facility opened its doors in 2012, the hospital doubled in size and has since increased its capacity to continue providing health care to the community.

MRMC celebrated the opening on May 22. There are plans to continue the celebration with ongoing events throughout the year.

Learn more at

— Megan Maloney for Marian Regional Medical Center.


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