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Joe and Andy B The Barone Family

My husband, Pat, and I will be forever grateful to all of the NICU team members for their skills and dedication and the love they gave to all three Barone boys.

In reaching out to Monmouth Medical Center to share her NICU story, Eatontown resident Cathy Barone noted that she has her two sons today because of the care they received at Monmouth Medical Center more than three decades ago.

“I have two sons that both had positive experiences in the NICU — my son Joey is 35 years old and was born at 28 weeks, and my other son Andy, now 31, was born at 30 weeks,” she says. “We had wonderful nurses and doctors and I have both of them because of the NICU team.” Cathy, a semi-retired Eatontown school teacher, had lost two pregnancies before the birth of Joey and was under the care of Monmouth Medical Center maternal-fetal medicine physicians who care for women with high risk pregnancies.

She was on bed rest for much of her pregnancy with Joey, who was born on February 11, 1983, in the middle of a blizzard. “Joey weighed 2 pounds, 14 ounces, and spent seven weeks in the NICU,” Cathy says, recalling that his Apgar score at birth was just 1 on a scale of 10. “He had cardiac issues, including a heart valve problem that he was given medications for, that at the time were considered experimental, and was on home monitors for his first year.”

Andy was born June 2, 1987, weighing 3 pounds 8 ounces, with an Apgar score of 3. He spent six weeks in the NICU, primarily due to respiratory issues. “The care was wonderful in the NICU – the nurses were amazing, and they didn’t only take care of my babies, they took care of me too,” she says. “On the day I brought Joey home, one of his nurses took the day off and came to my home and spent the day making sure I was comfortable.”

Today, Joey and his wife, Alessandra, live in Howell with their 4-month old daughter Cassandra. Andy and his wife Caroline live in Tinton Falls with their 3-month old son Gavin, who like his father, began his life in Monmouth Medical Center’s NICU. Gavin was born at 33 weeks and spent 17 days in the NICU, with a feeding tube for 15 days to help him gain weight and CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) treatment for apnea.

”My husband, Pat, and I will be forever grateful to all of the NICU team members for their skills and dedication and the love they gave to all three Barone boys,” Cathy says. Cathy also has a daughter Camille, now 38, who was born full term. She is the mother of 11-year-old Carlie, and 7-year-old Casey.