AUSTIN — Today, Tammy Lewis works as a respiratory therapist Baylor Scott and White McLane Children’s Hospital in Temple, Texas. She began her life at that very same hospital and in that very same unit.
“I was born very small,” Lewis said. “I was born at 24 weeks. Normal gestation is 40 weeks, so I was 3-and-a-half months early.”
Tammy weighed just one pound four ounces at birth. She claims to have been the smallest baby born in Texas at that time. The doctors prepared her parents for the worst.
“They gave [my Mom] a rundown of 5 to 10 percent best case survival rate.”
Giving Back to Her Community
Tammy would overcome these slim odds and go home with her parents about three months later. Ever since then, Tammy knew that she wanted to work with premature babies and their families.
“Going through school, I knew this was where I wanted to be,” she said. “I knew I wanted to work with children, and not just children, but NICU patients. Not many people can say you can go work where you were born and care for the same type of babies like you were and be able to give back in that way.”
When Tammy started at the hospital, some of the staff that cared for her were still there. It was a very humbling moment.
“To be able to grow up, get a job and career, and be able to work alongside the people who cared for you was a truly humbling experience.”
She hopes that her story inspires new parents with a premature child.
“My hope is that those parents who have children like I was can see a success story, working right there alongside you, working with you and your child, getting to know them and showing them there’s light at the end of the tunnel,” she said. “I hope I can give them a little hope.”
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