|Updated: 8/01/2012 3:13 pm
||Published: 7/30/2012 7:45 pm
LITTLE ROCK, AR-- The Arkansas Children's Hospital opened a new wing for its neonatal intensive care unit Monday. Nurses started moving patients to their new rooms.
Newborn Nathan Aguilera has one of the new rooms. He was born last month with a defect called gastroschisis.
"He had a small opening in his abdomen and a little bit of his bowels were out. So he had some intestines outside, not all of them were in. It looks nasty. It looks worse than what it actually is," said Nathan's mother, Melissa.
He had surgery and doctors say he should be okay.
Even better, Monday night will be the first his mom will be able to sleep by his side in the new south wing. For the past seven weeks, mom and baby have shared a pod with other families in the old wing.
But now the new facility offers 17 private rooms, which is a big upgrade for the hospital.
"It gives the parents the opportunity to be at the baby's bedside 24/7 and be involved in their care at all times without having to go back and forth from home," said ACH patient care manager Amanda Weaver.
The entire wing, including the NICU, costs $121 million and it took four years to complete. The unit can now serve up to 100 babies daily.