A tiny miracle made a little sweeter with help from Providence Alaska Children’s Hospital

Melissa Webber, Tyrel Williams and their daughter Poppy, who spent 28 days in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at Providence Alaska Children’s Hospital

Poppy Williams’ first word was “dada,” her second “mama” and her third “kitty.” That sums up the 16-month-old toddler’s family unit in Anchorage, where she is thriving after spending the first 28 days of her life in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at Providence Alaska Children’s Hospital.

Melissa Webber and her husband, Tyrel Williams, were like any other new, expectant parents. At 32 weeks pregnant, though, that changed.

“It turned out I had pre-eclampsia, and her growth had been restricted,” Webber said. “All of a sudden at 32 weeks, I’ve become a high-risk pregnancy.”

The next days were a blur while Webber was admitted to the hospital. Two days later, a tiny, 3 pound, 5 ounce Poppy was born seven weeks early.

“Her biggest thing was that she needed to grow and learn to eat,” Webber said. “It took a couple of weeks. We ended up being there 28 days.”

The long stay at the hospital could be expensive, they knew, but it had been an emergency, and surely their insurance would cover most of the expenses. That didn’t happen.

Providence Alaska’s financial assistance program stepped in with what is commonly known as “charity care.” This helps reduce or eliminate the costs of care for those in need, including those who are insured, underinsured or otherwise unable to pay for their care. It helped meet the needs of the Webber-Williams family by assisting them with the costs of care not just for Poppy’s hospital stay, but also Webber’s.

“The team at Providence was amazing, and everything they did worked. You’d do anything for your child, and we can’t thank them enough,” Webber said.