2 Cars 2 Winners: The Rodriguez Family

MONROE, La. (KNOE) - In our 2 Cars 2 Winners campaign this week, we take a look at the Rodriguez family.

In our 2 Cars 2 Winners campaign we take a look at the Rodriguez family. (KNOE) -

Little River Rodriguez lights up every time he sees his father Micah. Micah and Christina have brought this little miracle back to the St. Francis Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to celebrate his first birthday.

“The hospital we went to didn’t have a high enough level of NICU for them to be able to see him there,” said Christina Rodriguez, River’s Mom.

“Christina had a specialist in Shreveport at Willis Knighton and they were worried he wouldn’t make the trip to Shreveport. They said St. Francis had a NICU and this is where we needed to be,” said Micah Rodriguez, River’s Dad.

River turned 1 year old on October first. His due date in 2018 wasn’t until December 18. He spent 48 days in NICU at St. Francis.

“He was like a dark shade of purple. He had bruises on him from childbirth. And no hair, no eyelashes, or eyebrows. His skin was still pretty transparent you could see veins. And his rib cage was not fully developed yet so you could actually still see his heart beating. So to see all of that. You expect them to come out with this bundle of joy and not hooked up to all of these other things,” said Christina Rodriquez.

While River has no recollection of being in the NICU, you can tell there’s a special bond with Dr. Desolar during this reunion. Though his first few days on earth were harrowing for these first-time parents, they know that having the level three NICU so close by was probably the difference between life and death for their newborn.

“It was a blessing. It was really a blessing to be here,” said Micah Rodriguez. And River’s mom agrees; “they’re the reason why he has a birthday. They’re the reason this day didn’t turn out differently,” said Christina Rodriguez.

You can buy a raffle ticket to help the St. Francis Medical Center's Pediatric and Neo-natal Intensive Care units by going to www.stfran.com. Tickets are on sale until November 5th at 10 am. The drawing for both winners will be live on KNOE November 5th.