New Parents Wed in Infant's Hospital Room

Nurses at the St. Christopher's Hospital for children decked one-month-old Lucas Fox out in a suit Thursday as the infant served as a witness to his parents' wedding at the neonatal intensive care unit.

"I have some wedding jitters, but overall I'm excited," Lucas' mom, 23-year-old Amber Brunell of Bangor, Pa. said ahead of the ceremony.

But the jitters passed and Brunell wed 24-year-old Joshua Fox of Tatamy, Pa.

The couple, who got engaged six months into their nearly three-year relationship, didn't plan on getting married at the hospital.

But the lovebirds were excited to make it official, while including their son in the ceremony.

"They are the two best people in my life and I can't wait to just be a family," Brunell said.

Lucas was born on Feb. 21 at 9 pounds and 11 ounces and 21 inches long at St. Luke's Hospital - Bethlehem Campus.

Prior to his arrival, an ultrasound revealed possible concerns, said Dr. Suzanne Touch, interim medical director at St. Luke's and an attending neonatologist at St. Christopher's.

"After Lucas was born, he went to the newborn nursery as a 'well-appearing infant' under the watchful eye of both the pediatric and neonatal teams, with the hopes that the concernts from the ultrasound had been resolved," Dr. Touch said. "When Lucas began showing signs and symptoms for a possible abdominal problem, he was transferred to the NICU for further evaluation.

He arrived at St. Christopher's on Feb. 23 and underwent surgery to remove an obstruction in his intensines.

In the 24 hours that followed the operation, Lucas developed problems with his lungs.

"Because Lucas' heart was pumping so hard to provide oxygen to his lungs, we knew we had to get him on [extracorporeal membrane oxygenation]  quickly in order to keep his heart from failing," said Dr. Jane McGowan, the NICU medical director at St. Christopher's.

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a procedure that provides prolonged respiratory and cardiac support to patients whose lungs or heart are not working properly.

The newlyweds continue to spend time with Lucas as the infant remains in the NICU while doctors ensure his healthy recovery.

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