2 Cars 2 Winners: NICU nurse adopts baby from the unit

Dawn Ferris works at the St. Francis NICU. After taking care of baby Jonah, she and her husband eventually adopted him.
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 7:55 AM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - “We love it. I think this is what we’re meant to do, it’s a little hard to watch the kids come and then they get ready and they go. You get attached,” smiles Lloyd Ferris.

It’s a family affair for the Ferris Family.

Dawn Ferris has worked at the St. Francis Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for about 25 years. Now, her son does, too.

“I never have said I’ve got to take care of this baby every minute I’m in the unit or said this is my baby, you know a lot of people do that,” explains Dawn Ferris.

Dawn Ferris works at the St. Francis NICU. After taking care of baby Jonah, she and her husband eventually adopted him.

But that all changed when Baby Jonah came into the NICU.

“He was just meant to be my baby and now he is,” says Dawn. “I came back from vacation and they assigned me to Jonah and I just instantly fell in love with him.”

Lloyd and Dawn Ferris already have two grown sons. But, when Dawn asked her husband how he felt about fostering little Jonah when he was able to come home, he didn’t hesitate.

“He was born outside of the hospital in not a good environment,” says Dawn. “There was no running water or electricity in the house he was born and he had the cord around wrapped around his neck. [...] They also found that he had a large heart defect and he went into heart failure.”

Dawn says Jonah stayed on a cooling blanket for three days to avoid brain damage. Now, he’s a normal little boy with the energy to match. He still gets checkups on his heart today, but they say he’s looking much better.

It wasn’t long until another sibling came along, Della.

“She was a surprise, they called me and said, ‘we have a newborn baby at Conway can you take her?’ and I said let me call my husband.”

They were both on board and the rest is history.

“She was born on the 11th and they brought her on the 15th,” says Dawn. “And she was a drug-addicted newborn as well, and Jonah was too.”

Lloyd and Dawn Ferris eventually adopted Della and Jonah, now they’re part of their family forever.

“If they beat the odds at birth they’re bound to be something special,” says Dawn.

They truly have a heart for kids, they also foster older children who need a home.

“In the long run, it is worth everything because if you show them love it takes them a little while, and then they will feed that love right back to you,” explains Lloyd.

To continue offering care like baby Jonah had, St. Francis Medical Center needs your help. All the proceeds from the St. Francis Foundation’s 2 Cars 2 Winners Raffle go toward Women’s, Children’s, and Critical Care Services at St. Francis. Funds from this year will be used to remodel the NICU, which hasn’t seen a big remodel in over 40 years.

Buying a ticket enters you for the chance to win either a 2022 Nissan Titan Pro-4X or Toyota 4Runner SR5.

Ticket sales continue until October 7, at midnight. We’ll draw the two winners live at 6 p.m. on KNOE.

Here are the stories we’ve highlighted so far in the 2022 2 Cars 2 Winners Campaign:

Rushworth Family

Ouachita Valley Federal Credit Union

Juneau Family

Finney Family