As the first child born to Chad and Michelle Willer, Rylen is truly a miracle. Part way through Michelle's pregnancy doctors began to notice that Rylen was not progressing normally inside the womb. It was then that the Willer Family began to understand that Michelle would have to deliver early. However, they never thought that she would be giving birth 11 weeks early.
On March 17, Rylen was born at St. Luke's Regional Medical Center weighing only 1 pound 13 ounces. Like most newborns Rylen lost additional weight after being born, dropping down to just 1 pound 9 ounces. For the first week of Rylen's life his parents weren't allowed to touch him and it was several days after that before they were able to first hold him.
Rylen spent 79 days in St. Luke's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Michelle and Chad relied heavily on nurse support to care for their son at all hours of the day whether they were there or not. According to nurses during Easter Rylen actually passed away. Thankfully the staff at St. Luke's was able to bring him back to life.
Today, Rylen is five months old. While he will continue to be small for his age, you would never know he went through anything different than any other kid. His parents credit St. Luke's NICU staff in saving their sons life who, "Wouldn't be here without them," Michelle says.