NFL Draft Prospect Derick Hall’s early arrival challenges

From the NICU to the NFL, Derick Hall’s early arrival is one that couldn’t have been predicted in 2001 when he was born premature at 23 weeks.

Derick had to be revived when he was born and doctors gave him little chance to survive more than a few days, but his mom, Stacy, wouldn’t give up and fought for her son.

He spent the first five months of his life in the neo-natal intensive care unit at Memorial Hospital, the only NICU on the Coast.

Only 30 percent of infants born that early survive and in the early 2000s they did not have the same technology they have today.

Babies born that early and survive are expected to have some long-term issues. But by age six, Derick had caught up to other kids his age developmentally and from there, he took off. Dr. Jennifer Caldwell said, “It’s a really, really bumpy hard road. There’s a lot of other complications that goes along with that. They can have brain bleeds; they can have problems with their eyes and vision. So, there’s a lot of things that we’re following them for and it’s a real roller coaster.”

The challenges Hall and his mom faced have inspired him to obtain a charitable license to support NICU families, expected to launch this fall.

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