Months after premature birth, parents celebrate girl's release from LB hospital

Jaysha Patel Image
Thursday, October 19, 2023
Parents celebrate as baby born at 1 pound released from LB hospital
After spending months in the NICU, a baby girl who weighed just one pound at birth is going home with her parents.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Wednesday was a very special graduation day for a tiny survivor who overcame big odds.

Baby Marz weighed just over a pound when she was born at 21 weeks old. She was the youngest baby ever born at Miller Children & Women's Hospital Long Beach.

Now, four and a half months later, after being cared for in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit, she's heading home with her parents in Compton.

Her mom, Sherry Player-Tucker, says she always remained optimistic after her daughter's premature birth.

"Within the first week of us staying here my husband and I went over to the NICU wall - there's a graduation wall - and I took a picture of that wall. And her very first picture I put up I made a collage and I put her picture on the NICU wall and I put NICU graduate and I put the date and the month that I felt like she would get out of here and I just held on to that."

The Long Beach hospital has one of the largest level 4 NICUs in the area.

"This baby's survival is a modern miracle," said Antoine Soliman with Miller's. "We find that babies that are born extremely premature like this, they don't all survive. But because of specialized care that we give here at Miller Children's and Women's Hospital and a lot of the advancements in medical technology that we've been able to be blessed with, we really find that the survival of babies like Marz is improving every day."

Her parents spent countless days and hours watching over Marz, only thinking positive thoughts around her.

"It was really one of those types of things where I didn't really have time to think of anything else and even when I did I put it in perspective of understanding that she's still here and so there's a reason that she's here," said her father, Jamar Tucker.

On Wednesday the big day finally came and Marz graduated.

Her parents and her NICU team celebrated as they moved the tassel on her graduation cap to the left to signify her official departure from the NICU.

She'll now be added to the official NICU hall of fame at Miller Children's & Women's Hospital Long Beach.