Grant and Alexa Agamalian, NICU patients

December 01, 2012
Grant and Alexa Agamalian NICU Patients

When 43-year-old Dana Agamalian learned she was pregnant, she felt elated. When, at 18 weeks, she felt her twins’ first kicks, she thought she was having a heaven-sent pregnancy.

Those kicks turned out to be early contractions. Agamalian soon found herself confined to 24-hour bed rest at a Newport Beach hospital. With her cervix dilating, doctors worked feverishly to delay the twins’ delivery. A few weeks later, Agamalian gave birth to 2-pound-5-ounce Grant and 2-pound-6-ounce Alexa.

Because UC Irvine Medical Center has one of the most advanced neonatal intensive care units (NICU) in Orange County, Newport Beach hospital staff immediately transferred her babies to UC Irvine. Agamalian is glad they did.

During her children’s 3 ½ -month stay, Agamalian said they received exceptional care from doctors and nurses who attended to them round the clock, changing IVs, managing their breathing on respirators and carefully monitoring their vital signs.

Likewise, the emotionally frayed Agamalian and her husband John Agamalian received excellent care of their own. Dr. Feizal Waffarn patiently answered question after question from the worried couple. Dr. Jack Sills, medical director of the NICU at the time, even gave his cell phone number to the Agamalians so they could reach him anytime. Nurses taught the new mother how to breast feed, give medications to and change the tiny diapers of her premature infants.

Today, Grant and Alexa are both healthy and happy.

“We just know there is no way in the world we could have received better care,” Dana Agamalian said. “We were with a bunch of pros.”