Premature baby girl receives early Christmas present - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Premature baby girl receives early Christmas present

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - Aviana Zimmerman has her mom wrapped around her little fingers.

The one-month-old hardly cries and often sleeps.

But she was a little more high-maintenance than parents Pam and Kris Zimmerman expected.

"The initial scare, everything happened so fast," Kris Zimmerman said. "Wasn't really sure how we were going to come out of it as a family, both mom and baby."

Aviana was born Nov. 15, weighing just around 2 pounds.

Pam's due date was Jan. 19.

But Pam had Preeclampsia. Very simply put, Pam developed a high blood pressure unhealthy for the baby.

"She wasn't getting the nutrition she needed and then all of a sudden they told me I was gonna have her that night," Pam Zimmerman said. "I didn't know what to think or what to do."

Aviana spent the first month of her life in Gundersen Lutheran Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Despite her size, Aviana is strong, said her doctor, Ngozi Nduka, a neonatologist at Gundersen Lutheran.

Aviana was intubated at birth. Nduka said around 48 hours later, Aviana was able to breath on her own with minimal oxygen assistance.

"She's really a fighter. She did very well, maintained a good course. She didn't need to go back to maintain more support," Nduka said.

Aviana is so strong that now, weighing in at 3 pounds 13 ounces, will get to go home and spend Christmas at home with mom and dad.

"Definitely an early Christmas present," Pam Zimmerman said.

The Zimmerman's knew they'd be able to take Aviana home soon, they found out Thursday that they'll be able to take her home by Saturday.

The family said they don't have a celebration planned, but for certain they'll spend the holiday together as a new family.

The Zimmerman family said they received help from Gundersen Lutheran's Children Miracle Network during the time Aviana was hospitalized.

They were given a grant, which helped them pay for gas since Pam and Kris traveled back and forth from Winona.

The couple also received free meals at the hospital.

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