Children’s Miracle Network: Meet Jadon Green

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Jadon is the newest addition to the Green family. His parents feared the worst at his birth after losing two children to premature birth complications. Jadon was born in December 2022 at Maynards Children’s Hospital more than two months early. He spent over four months there with his brother, mother, and father supporting his challenging first weeks of life.

Calm, Cool, and collected is how 1 1/2 Jadon sits in the living room watching his older brother Jacob playing with toys, but that’s not how he came into the world. Weighing just two pounds, Jadon arrived around 13 weeks early. His parents Richard and Crystal Green were flooded with confusion and fear.

“We thought we had all the things in place to prevent it from happening and it was a feeling of not again,” says Crystal.

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Nine months earlier, they welcomed happy and healthy Jacob to the world. His welcome arrival came after the devastating loss of a son and daughter to premature birth complications. They worried that Jadon’s premature arrival could end in tragedy yet again. It did not, as they turned to the battle in front of them.

“I’ve got a son. He’s here. He’s in NICU…. Fight… Prayer… Family… Friends,” says Richard Green.

His birth wasn’t without challenges. Jadon was jaundiced, he needed a ventilator to breathe, he was experiencing liver issues, required taking specialized formula, and needed to drink donor breast milk because of his early arrival.

On Christmas Eve, Richard and Crystal were told Jadon reacted to the donor breast milk which made him sick. Then in mid-January 2023, doctors performed exploratory surgery and diagnosed Jadon with necrotizing enterocolitis – a disease that can inflame, kill, and infect the intestinal lining.

“The way god designs the body is crazy because his body literally walled up the perforation area so that he couldn’t get sepsis and die. It stopped it, walled it up,” says Crystal Green.

Jadon’s fight to live marched on, but so did the obstacles. Jadon had a colostomy bag and central line port that became infected from the surgery, a breaking point for his mother.

“When I came back, not even 12 hours later, he looked like the Michelin Man, a totally different child,” says Crystal Green. “And I was like, why did I do this to my baby?”

But the storm clouds that had been part of Jadon’s first several months of life would finally part thanks to the steadfast care of his doctors and nurses, and the beads around mom’s neck document just how far they’d traveled on this journey.

“We actually have one of the first complete sets,” says Crystal.

The Maynards Children’s Hospital Hand to Hold Milestone Bead Program, specifically for parents in the NICU, documents every week, step forward, and landmark moment of their baby’s journey in the hospital.

And a hand Jadon had to hold himself. His older brother, Jacob, was there every step of the way, too.

“Jacob was there and the isolette was open,” says Jadon’s Father Richard Green. “It was the first time Jacob was able to interact with him, and the first thing he did was grab his hand”

The nurses and doctors at Maynards Children’s Hospital were all there with them until the final moment of their 119th day.

“They surprised us,” says Richard. “When we went in, they made stay in there and when we come out… every nurse and doctor were holding banners and saying graduation home. Not just for Jadon, but Jacob as well. When we walk all the way out… when we finally walked outside and watched him take his first breath of air outside… there was no better feeling in the world.”

Now he watches and learns from his older brother, catching up to him one step at a time. The next step for Jadon is learning how to walk. He’s starting physical therapy soon and attending Mayndards Children’s Hospital for regular check-ups.