Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 10:31 PM CST
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Meet Rhett Mulkey
Meet Rhett Mulkey(KY3)

An Ozarks couple says their son is proof even the tiniest humans can make it through anything. John and Makenzie Mulkey share how Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals helped their miracle baby, Rhett.

“We moved our baby shower up and I said I think that was a good idea because I feel like I’m going to have him this weekend. No lie. I went into labor that Saturday,” said Makenzie Mulkey with a laugh. She had a feeling her son would be born well before his due date.

The new mother had gestational diabetes. Doctors also told her Rhett had a two vessel umbilical cord which can cause a premature birth. “Rhett was born at 34 weeks and 5 days. So he was about 5 and a half weeks early.”

The new parents soon learned their preemie son’s longs weren’t fully developed and needed a special treatment to keep them from sticking together. “They took him right after I had him into the NICU. He did fine the first few hours after he was born, but the next day we got a call that they had to put him on a ventilator,” Makenzie shared.

During his three and a half weeks in the NICU, baby Rhett stayed on oxygen until two days before he went home from the hospital. “It was very nerve-racking with it being our first little guy and it taking us so long to have one. You just don’t know the unknowns and everything,” said John Mulkey.

The couple says Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals paid for their travel expenses so John could go to and from work. It’s a three hour round trip from their home in Washburn. CMNH also helped cover their medical bills so they could focus on their precious newborn. “You never want to ask someone for help especially financially. It kind of hurts your pride, but John’s like, ‘I want to be up here every weekend that I can,’ because he couldn’t drive up there every night,” said Makenzie.

They credit CMNH with keeping their little family together in those first weeks of Rhett’s life when he needed them the most. “The nurses were amazing. I couldn’t have asked for better people.”

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