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A newborn’s cool Journey to Healing

For the first 24 hours of Remy Cooperstein’s life, her parents didn’t know if she would survive. For the next two days, all they could do was watch her lie completely still, immobilized by special medications, on a cooling blanket in the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Thanks to the cutting edge treatment of the cooling blanket, Remy is today, at two years old, completely, spectacularly normal, her journey to healing now an energetic typical toddler life.

Lisa and Danny Cooperstein realized something was wrong with their newborn daughter almost immediately after her delivery. Remy seemed too quiet, a light shade of blue and wasn’t breathing. Doctors rushed in and began performing CPR as the terrified parents held each other, crying and praying. Danny quietly talked to his deceased mother, who had passed away years ago, asking her help, as the infant was whisked off to the NICU for Shady Grove’s very first use of the cooling blanket treatment.

Although CPR had started Remy’s breathing, early loss of oxygen can start a chain reaction that can quickly lead to permanent brain damage. The cooling blanket lowered Remy’s body temperature to 91ºF, safely slowing her body processes down and stopping any chain reaction cold.

As they tensely waited, the Coopersteins became instant NICU celebrities, with physicians and staff wanting to see the innovative treatment in action. Other parents and the “awesome” NICU nurses formed a community of support. “Hugs aren’t in the job description of a nurse,” Danny says, “That’s the person inside the nurse.”

After what seemed like an eternity of 72 hours, Remy’s temperature was slowly returned to normal, and she was able to go home. Her parents fearfully watched for signs of long-term issues, until at six months, Remy began rolling over regularly, and then crawling, cruising, and walking. Remy now has an extraordinary, milestone-beating vocabulary.

“I know,” says Danny, “if Remy had been born in another hospital, she might not have had an opportunity to have the cooling blanket treatment and this outcome. She’s a miracle to me” — a miracle named for Danny’s mom.

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