Johnny R The Russotto Family

I consider Monmouth Medical Center my home, and the NICU staff to be a part of my family.

Morganville residents Christina and John Russottos’ NICU journey began the same date as the Passarellos’, when their twin sons Johnny and Michael were born Oct. 5, 2013, at 25 weeks gestation, weighing 1 pound, 14 ounces, and 1 pound, 12 ounces, respectively. While Christina’s pregnancy had progressed normally, she said that on a routine well visit on Oct. 4, her doctor discovered that she was in labor, and she was admitted to MMC, where she underwent an emergency C-section the next day.

While Johnny’s stay in the NICU lasted nearly four months, his twin, Michael, was transferred at 2 months to an out-of-state hospital for eye surgery, from which he never awoke. In the family’s home, framed photos of the tiny preemies adorn the Russottos’ family room wall, and Johnny, a tall, smart and active preschooler, proudly points to pictures of his brother.

Additionally, Christina, a teacher, and her husband, John Sr., who works in Information Technology, have a 2-year-old daughter, Giovanna, who was born at full term.

“I consider Monmouth Medical Center my home, and the NICU staff to be a part of my family,” she said, noting that Johnny underwent care typical of a tiny preemie, primarily oxygen and caffeine treatments for his developing lungs. “We spent 107 days – 12 to 14 hours a day – there, and we really saw firsthand that the care is second to none. The care and compassion of the nursing staff is amazing – Johnny’s primary care nurse is still involved in our life, and comes to his birthday parties.”

Like Jocelyn, Christina is active with the annual Big Steps for Little Feet Walk, and serves on the hospital committee that organizes it each year.