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Christmas Eve surgery: Premature baby gets special gift

By Jehan Sheikh, jsheikh@ky3.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 05:43:39 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 24 2013 06:23:15 PM CST

Jase was born four months premature and has had several surgeries, including one on Christmas Eve to give him sight.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -

Jase Newman has spent Halloween, Thanksgiving, and now Christmas in Neonatal Intensive Care.   On Tuesday, he got what his parents say is the "ultimate Christmas present."

Mom and dad, Kyra and Dakota, welcomed Jase four months earlier than originally planned.  He weighed 1 pound, 13 ounces.  Kyra Newman says he has gone through a lot since he was born on Oct. 13.

"He's had surgery on his bowels for perforation, a colostomy.  He's had PDA, which is kind of an extra artery that the baby has around his heart and they had to surgically close a few weeks ago.  He's had a chest tube for collapsed lung," said Kyra.

On top of all that, Jase's eyesight was in question.  On Tuesday, doctors performed laser eye surgery, giving him the gift of sight, what Kyra calls his "ultimate Christmas present."

To be close to Jase, as he is in NIC, Kyra and Dakota stay at the Ronald McDonald House inside Mercy Children's Hospital.  They live in El Dorado Springs, a drive of about 90 minutes from Springfield.

"It's definitely more comforting to be close." said Kyra.  " I freak out when we go home.  We can take a trip home for the evening and I'm calling every couple of hours worrying about him.  It's nice to be here and close."

Bonnie Keller, president and chief executive officer of Ronald McDonald House of the Ozarks, says she is happy to provide a place for families like the Newmans.

"Home is where your family is and I know, for our families, this is the last place they wan to be.  But I think that having the other families with them that understand, and having the community that we have that embraces the Ronald McDonald House, is the next best thing, especially to be near your child," said Keller.

The Newman family hopes to be home with baby Jase by Jan. 24, Kyra's original due date.