Infant with SV roots fights for his life in the NICU at UofU Hospital
• GoFundMe organized.
As Shaylon Shumway Steiner entered her 36th week of pregnancy, an ultrasound indicated that her baby was suffering from Hydrops Fetalis, which is a life-threatening condition where excessive fluid pools in the chest cavity of an unborn baby, preventing the baby’s heart and lungs from functioning. Shaylon and her husband, Bryson, were told that a Hydrops baby typically does not survive in late pregnancy.
Within hours, labor was induced at the University of Utah Hospital, and early on January 6, 2024, Nyle Robert Steiner was born. After only seconds in his mother’s arms, he was whisked away to 28 minutes of resuscitation efforts before his heart would beat independently.
Nyle has spent his young life on a ventilator, with tubes continuously draining the fluid from his chest. Bryson and Shaylon have arranged their schedules to have one parent at his side and one at home with their toddler children each day.
Shaylon, the daughter of Robert and Julia Shumway from Turnerville, and a 2017 graduate of SVHS, spent an hour with SVI Media, sharing Nyle’s story that is so dramatically different from what the young couple expected at Christmas, 2023. She said that a typical Hydrops baby spends several months in the NICU. The last Hydrops baby discharged from the University of Utah had spent the first 10 months of his life in the hospital before being healthy and stable enough to go home. The Steiners expect Nyle to be in the NICU for six to eight months.
Numerous medical interventions have sustained life for Nyle to this point, and quick, skilled action by medical professionals has made the life-giving difference, but Shaylon is certain that without the prayers of friends and family, this story would be very different. Nyle’s continuous improvement is the result of miracles. “It’s amazing how many prayers we have received from people and well wishes and support, and the miracles that we have noticed because of the prayers. The prayers are bringing the miracles that are keeping Nyle alive.”
Miracle No. 1 was Shaylon’s doctor being willing to give an ultrasound, even though a miscommunication had left her off the appointment schedule on January 5. “They hadn’t put me on the schedule, so they hadn’t planned to see me, but my doctor was willing to see me anyway. If he hadn’t seen me, he wouldn’t have caught the Hydrops in time for me to have Nyle and have the chance of being able to meet him. Another miracle is that he had a heartbeat after a 28-minute resuscitation.”
Any human unable to breathe for 28 minutes would be expected to have some sort of brain damage, but here, the family has seen another miracle. “They had to sedate him because of all the procedures and all the things he was hooked up to, but as he’s been coming off of sedation, he’s been a little bit more active and even responsive to my voice and Bryson’s voice,” said Shaylon. “They did an MRI to look for any brain damage and that MRI came back [indicating normal brain activity], which was a huge miracle. We heard from the nurses that the chances of any baby coming off of a 28-minute resuscitation with a normal MRI reading is less than one percent. Not only did Nyle survive birth with Hydrops, but he also survived and came out of a big resuscitation process without any brain damage. It’s miraculous! There have been so many miracles!”
Nyle’s parents and older siblings are settling into the new routine, blessed daily by the service of many people who love them. They have felt great support from family, friends, employers, church friends, and medical staff. “We’ve felt that Nyle has been a gift to many people, especially my family, in reminding us that God is always there, providing blessings and miracles in the smallest and largest of ways. Even the nurses are referring to him as a miracle baby. He has a bunch of nurse girlfriends that come and visit him daily because he’s so content and happy when he’s awake. He brings joy to even the hospital staff!”
Nyle’s name could be considered a miracle as well. “We just recently looked up what Nyle’s name means, and the name Nyle means ‘champion’ and ‘passionate,’ which fits him very well, I think, with his strong, fighting personality.”
Shaylon’s tender and compassionate heart is facing this challenge with grace and wisdom. “I just take it one hour at a time. One day at a time seems too big, but an hour at a time or a minute at a time seems more reasonable. Prayers help more than anything.”
With a lengthy recovery ahead, it’s certain that the financial obligations for this family will be significant, but Shaylon is determined to focus on her baby. “To be honest, we’re not really focusing on finances right now because if we focus on that, we will lose track of what’s really important, which is to have Nyle come home. We know that a lot of people have been praying for him and we recognize that prayers have helped him more than any finances ever will.”
For those interested in being part of a financial miracle for this young family, a GoFundMe account has been set up to help. Anyone interested in supporting the Steiners can visit gofundme.com.