Our StoriesTouching Stories from members of TLC
Sam Edward Castagna
Sam was born at 30 weeks gestation in 2002 at North Shore University Hospital at Manhasset. He weighed 3 lbs. 3oz. at birth and was breathing on his own upon delivery. Sam was taken immediately to the NICU due to his premature delivery. Several hours after birth he began to have difficulty breathing and required a respirator. Sam was put on the highest level of life support and was not responding. A priest was brought in and Sam was baptized in the NICU.
The day after Sam’s birth we learned that he had a severe infection caused by Group B Streptococcal disease. Group B Strep is a natural occurring bacteria that exists in the intestinal tract of approximately 30% of the population. Babies who ingest the bacteria during labor and delivery can become very ill. The infection can potentially cause sepsis (blood infection), pneumonia and meningitis. One in twenty babies who contract Group B Strep die from infection.
Sam CastagnaSam was given antibiotics that eventually cleared the infection. The combination of the infection and his prematurity caused severe problems for Sam’s lungs. He was given surfactant and nitric oxide to help open the air sacs in his lungs. Miraculously, he responded to this treatment.
Sam spent two months in the NICU. While there, he needed two blood transfusions, a spinal tap to rule out meningitis, and phototherapy to treat his severe jaundice. Sam was slowly weaned off the oxygen and came home on April 8, 2002. He is now thriving.