Braelynn Tracy was born at just 23 weeks, weighing less than a pound.

Meet the NICU’s smallest graduate

December 1, 2019

As Jacinda and John Tracy prepared to welcome their first child, due in June 2019, they never imagined their little girl would arrive four months earlier than expected.

Braelynn Tracy was born on Feb. 15 at just 23 weeks, weighing less than a pound. Babies born that early have about a 50 percent survival rate, but Braelynn’s small size of just 11 ounces made her chances even worse.

“There were some scary times when we didn’t think we were going to get out of here,” John said.

After a long journey and six months of lifesaving care, Braelynn became the smallest baby to ever graduate from the Sanford Children’s Boekelheide NICU in Sioux Falls.

From Braelynn’s first breaths in the NICU to her ongoing treatment, donors have:

  • Helped purchase state-of-the-art equipment that gave Braelynn a chance to grow after she was born too early.
  • Provided direct family assistance and meal vouchers for Jacinda and John during Braelynn’s 191 days in the NICU.
  • Supported the expert care that helps Braelynn continue to thrive.

Braelynn is now 8 months old, and while she routinely needs care at Sanford Children’s Hospital, she has come so far from her first days in the NICU.


Give Sweet Dreams

Your support for the Sweet Dreams campaign will help equip every patient suite in the NICU with a state-of-the-art Giraffe OmniBed and NICVIEW camera system, in addition to helping provide the latest Panda Warmers for all infants born at The Birth Place at Sanford USD Medical Center.

Learn more about the Sweet Dreams campaign.

If you are a Sanford employee, consider signing up to give automatically through your paycheck.