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13:36 PM

Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children's Smallest Baby Finally Goes Home

Ellyannah Goes Home

After 10 Months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children's, Micro-Preemie Ellyannah Lopez is Thriving

With cheers and tears of joy, the Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children’s healthcare team waved farewell to Ellyannah Lopez, who left the hospital 10 months after her birth as a micro-preemie. Ellyannah was born at just 26 weeks gestation in May 2023, weighing 363 grams—less than a pound—and with a slim chance of survival.

“She had all the odds stacked against her,” said Seth Langston, MD, a neonatologist at Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children’s who spoke at Ellyannah’s “graduation ceremony” to mark her progress.

“She needed help breathing with the ventilator. She needed antibiotics to treat infections. And she had challenges with feeding. But Elly knew she had the most caring and loving parents supporting her and rooting for her. And she could not and didSeth Langston, MD not disappoint them,” Langston said. “Ellyannah has been mighty, and she has been courageous. She has overcome obstacle after obstacle and ignored the odds to get to this moment and has shown us all the true strength of a preterm baby.”

Ellyannah’s parents, Cecia and Boris Lopez of Gardena, spent every hour they could in the hospital with their baby, most of that time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children’s.

“I don’t think Elly would be going home if Cecia and Boris hadn’t been here every single day,” said nurse Joshua De Roboam, RN, who calculated that he personally spent 720 hours over the last year with Ellyannah. “She sometimes wouldn’t even settle down unless her parents were there to talk to her, hold her, care for her. It’s led to her development and being who she is today.”

Dressed in a pink graduation cap and gown, Ellyannah nestled calmly in her parents’ arms as they flipped the tassel on her cap to signify her graduating from the hospital. 

“Seeing Ellyannah so small was very traumatic, but also very miraculous,” said Cecia Lopez. “We had the opportunity to see her finish developing with the help of these amazing doctors and nurses. The NICU has been like family to us; we love them and respect them.” 

The feeling is mutual for the many healthcare workers who cared for Ellyannah over her journey.  “She’s a miracle and the strongest baby I’ve ever met,” De Roboam said. “She reminds us that miracles can happen every day and that we’re so lucky to do what we do.” 

Ellyannah is going home weighing 17 pounds. She has a feeding tube and needs extra oxygen, but her parents are confident of a full recovery.  

As they waved goodbye to their Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children's family, Cecia and Boris said this graduation will be the first of many for their baby, and they will teach her, “If you can graduate from the NICU, you can do anything in your life.”

 Read more on the Cedars-Sinai Blog: A High-Risk Pregnancy Lifeline