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A fund for Owen Chicos has been set up at the State Bank of New Richland.

Many have followed Dave, Nikki, and Owen Chicos’ journey through Caring Bridge, but here’s a recap of their journey thus far.

Dave and Nikki found out at their 20-week ultrasound that there was something wrong with baby’s head as the ventricles (space where cerebral spinal fluid is stored in the brain) were measuring larger than they should. Nikki’s OB care was transferred to Mayo Clinic Rochester where baby was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and intrauterine growth restriction.

Dave and Nikki began going to Rochester weekly for ultrasounds as baby was at severe risk for stillbirth. On April 28 Nikki was hospitalized after the ultrasound showed that the blood flow through the umbilical cord was stopping at times. The next day on ultrasound baby had a heart rate of only 55 and they nearly delivered at 28 weeks. Fortunately, Nikki was given steroid injections to help baby’s lungs in case of early delivery and the steroids helped improve the cord blood flow and heart rate issues and they were discharged home.

Following this near delivery, Nikki needed twice weekly ultrasounds to check on the baby. She did ultrasounds in Mankato on Tuesdays and in Rochester on Fridays. On Saturday, June 3, at 33 weeks, her water spontaneously broke at home and Owen arrived at 1:26 p.m., weighing 3 lbs., 6 oz!

Owen spent seven weeks in the St. Mary’s NICU where he overcame many obstacles. He had two strokes either during delivery or shortly after. He also developed seizures and septic shock. Owen spent two and a half weeks recovering from the strokes and septic shock before undergoing surgery to place a temporary reservoir in his head on June 21. This reservoir allowed doctors to pull the excess spinal fluid from Owen’s head as it built up from the hydrocephalus. On July 12, Owen had grown big enough to undergo surgery where a permanent shunt was placed to help drain the spinal fluid into his abdomen when the fluid pressure builds. The day after surgery Owen developed two hernias due to the large amount of fluid that shifted from his head to his abdomen. He underwent hernia surgery on July 20.

On July 25, Dave and Nikki were finally able to bring their precious baby home! Owen has truly amazed his medical team and loved ones with his strength and resilience given all that he’s been through. Although he is doing wonderfully, Owen still has a long road ahead. Doctors are unsure of what developmental challenges he may have due to the hydrocephalus. He will have many doctor appointments and potential surgeries in the future.

If you would like to follow his journey please connect via Owen’s Caring Bridge website:

Donations to the Owen Chicos Fund will assist Dave and Nikki with medical expenses and time away from work.

Anyone wanting to donate can send a check to:

State Bank of New Richland

103 Broadway Avenue North

New Richland, MN 56072

Dave and Nikki would like to thank everyone for their ongoing thoughts, prayers, love and support!


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