“Ruben was born premature at 23 weeks and in the Intensive Care Unit for 130 days.”
A miracle happened when a team of caregivers banded with a family to fight for life and provide the best care possible, despite cultural and language differences. Tiburcio became a father for the first time in September 2011. He and his wife, Yesenia, weren’t fully prepared to welcome their baby 16 weeks earlier than anticipated, or to spend four months in the Overland Park Regional Medical Center NICU.
Tiburcio’s native language is Spanish, so he didn’t feel comfortable communicating with his son’s caregivers in English. With this in mind, the hospital staff ensured in-person and over-the-phone Spanish interpreters were always available to Tiburcio. Language services were fundamental to Tiburcio’s complete understanding of everything relating to his son’s care and condition.
Yesenia was with her son nearly all day, every day. Because of her loving and humble nature, she, along with her infant son Ruben, became favorites of the NICU staff. Toward the end of Ruben’s stay, the NICU staff created a “Mom of the Year” award for Yesenia. Throughout their stay in the NICU, neither Yesenia nor Tiburcio ever complained or lost hope; they remained completely devoted to caring for their son.
The filming of this vignette shows the reunion between Ruben, now a healthy and active two-year-old, his parents, and their “family” of caregivers at Overland Park Regional Medical Center. Their story proves that compassion and care transcend language, culture or racial differences – that it’s all about human connection.