By: Kayla Bremer
The family from Ogallala has been staying in Lincoln for the past three weeks while little Ellie fights for her life.
She turns three weeks old today and so far, she's spent her life fighting to stay alive. Born at just 11 ounces and 16 weeks early, she was given a ten percent chance of survival.
But her family and mom, Alicia, says she isn't giving up.
"It's just really hard to imagine what she's going through right now," Alicia McCarter said. "I just hope she can push through because she's been so strong so far."
The support for Ellie has been overwhelming for the family with people from all over the nation sending letters, donations and prayers their way.
"It's amazing how many people are supporting us right now," McCarter said.
St. Elizabeth's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is an awarding winning unit. They treat nearly 400 preemies every year.
Lorri Niemeyer is a neonatal nurse who says the medicine and treatment for preemies has grown and is saving more lives.
"More babies are surviving, smaller babies you know, even babies that aren't even a pound yet can survive," Niemeyer said. "Even early gestations like 23–24 weeks are surviving and having good outcomes."
The hospital has 27 private rooms for the babies and their families. Neimeyer says 75 percent of the babies they treat are usually only around three to four weeks early, but there are some who come months ahead of time.
"It's the tiny ones that stay two or three months and you get to know these families so well and it's a bittersweet moment when they leave," Neimeyer said.
As for Ellie, she still has a long fight ahead of her before she gets to go home but her family is staying hopeful.
"We're very, very hopeful," McCarter added. "Since she's made it this far my hope has grown stronger every day."
Little Ellie has a facebook page where thousands of people are following her every day progress.
If you would like to send a card, or donation, the address for their hotel is below.
Chase Suites Hotel
200 S 68th St Pl
Lincoln, NE 68510
Facebook page link: https://www.facebook.com/#!/PrayersForEllieJuneRose