Vacation to Brazil turns into 4-month stay when baby comes early

By Around the Web


[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Live Action News.]

By Isabella Childs
Live Action News

Chris and Cheri Phillips of Cambridge, Minnesota, are planning on returning home with their baby, Greyson, after spending four months in Brazil following Greyson’s premature delivery. The couple was vacationing in Brazil in March with a plan to stay for two weeks, when Cheri Phillips, then 28 weeks along in her pregnancy, went into labor.

According to ABC News, the couple was planning on enjoying a relaxing time before Cheri Phillips gave birth to the couple’s first child. The last ultrasound that the couple had before leaving Minnesota showed that the baby was on schedule to be born in May. However, shortly before the couple was due to fly home, on March 8, Cheri began experiencing labor pains.

“It started off that I just kind of had a backache … I thought I just need to go lie down and I’ll feel better in the morning,” said Cheri in an interview with Good Morning America. “About 4 a.m., I started bleeding, so I woke Chris up and off to [the] hospital we went,” she said.

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Doctors at a maternity hospital in Florianópolis, a city in Southern Brazil, attempted to prevent Cheri from delivering early so that she could give birth back home in Minnesota. But after four days at the maternity hospital, the mom had to be rushed into an emergency C-section, and Greyson Leo Phillips was delivered safely, weighing just over two pounds.

Greyson stayed in the NICU for the next 51 days, while his parents moved around, first staying with him in the hospital, then moving between vacation rentals. It was a difficult time for the parents, especially when Greyson was diagnosed with patent foramen ovale, which meant he had a hole in his heart that didn’t close after birth.

The Phillipses depended on each other during the difficult time. Chris, who speaks Portuguese fluently, acted as translator between the hospital staff and his wife.

“My job, in the NICU, it was as medical interpreter… because most of the staff didn’t speak any English, Cheri doesn’t speak any Portuguese,” Chris told Good Morning America.

In addition to working with medical staff, the couple resumed their jobs remotely and sought the necessary paperwork to return home with their son. Greyson was released from the NICU after 52 days, but the family was not able to confirm their return trip home for some time because Greyson needed a birth certificate and passport.

After hiring a lawyer, working with their U.S. senator’s office in Minnesota, and sharing their story in the media, the Phillipses were able to obtain a birth certificate and passport for Greyson on June 5.

The family is planning on flying from Brazil on June 23 and arriving back home in Minnesota on June 25.

Cheri expressed the family’s excitement to take Greyson home.

“I’m excited to actually bring him home. We haven’t been able to bring him home yet. I’m excited to be able to relax in our space, in our home, where we’re comfortable, and with our village, to be able to have grandparents and cousins and aunts and uncles over,” she said.

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Live Action News.]

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