SWFL toddler born premature gets to go home after 678 days in hospital

Reporter: Taylor Petras Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Toddler Ryder Taylor with his mom, Amanda White. Credit: WINK News.

A baby born at 26 weeks old was hospitalized for nearly two years, and the now-toddler has been allowed to go home.

Ryder Taylor has lived for 679 days – 678 of them were spent at Golisano Children’s Hospital. He came into the world early, tiny and with the odds against him, but he proved to be a fighter, who has finally made it home.

Ryder is one happy baby.

“He smiles. He never cries,” mom Amanda White said. “He only cries if he’s very upset.”

So to absolutely no one’s surprise, Ryder was all smiles Monday when he finally got to go home.

“I’ve been waiting for this for almost two years,” White said. “We’ve been through a lot.”

White gave birth to Ryder 14 weeks premature. He was just 1.9 pounds. The very little boy spent almost two years inside Golisano Children’s Hospital battling infections, undergoing surgeries and even being in a coma.

“There were days I didn’t think he was going to make it out alive, and I cried and cried every day and all day long,” White said.

Even though Ryder is home with his family, he requires constant care and attention. But mom says her fighter is getting stronger.

“He has a high chance of cerebral palsy, so we didn’t even think he could move his legs or any of his limbs,” White said. “We don’t know any extent. We don’t if he can even walk, but he just learned how to roll over. So he just hit huge milestones with that. He’s grabbing things. He’s like a normal baby. He’ll grab your hair and just yank on it.”

White said Ryder is happy to be back with his sister, Kaylee. She went to the hospital all the time to be with him. But the pandemic hit, and she wasn’t allowed to see him. Ryder’s return home should give them all the time they need to catch up.

Ryder is a smiling, happy baby, who is home at last.

“He is a little fighter,” White said. “You always fight.”

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