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Meet Rylee Kate

“Rylee Kate wouldn’t have been able to come home to us if it wasn’t for Phoebe’s NICU and their staff.” – Laura, Rylee Kate’s mom

Kevin and Laura Butler were shocked and overwhelmed when Laura, pregnant with twins, had a placenta abruption at home, 26 weeks into her pregnancy. After rushing to their local hospital in Thomasville, Laura was immediately taken for a c-section because her son’s (Jace) heart rate was declining. On February 12, 2021, Jace was born weighing 2 lbs. 2 ounces and Rylee Kate was born weighing 1 lb. 12 ounces.

Jace and Rylee Kate were quickly transported to Phoebe’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The Butler family began a long journey they never expected. At two days old, Jace passed away due to a pulmonary hemorrhage. “The doctors tried everything they could, but ultimately the Lord called him back home,” Laura shared.

It was the hardest day of Laura and Kevin’s life, but they tried to stay strong for Rylee Kate who continued to fight for her life in the NICU. Rylee Kate was diagnosed with a brain hemorrhage at 8 days old. The next day, an infection was detected in Rylee Kate’s blood. Despite these frightening setbacks, she persevered and continued to fight. From her parent’s perspective, Rylee Kate’s stay in the NICU often felt like one step forward then two steps back. 

In April, Rylee Kate developed pneumonia and was on 100% oxygen in the NICU. This was extremely scary for Kevin and Laura and there were moments they feared she might not make it. But Rylee Kate had different plans and continued to fight and grow stronger each day. 

After many obstacles and 99 days of care by the amazing Phoebe NICU team, Rylee Kate graduated from the NICU and went home with her family.

“All of the NICU doctors were wonderful. The nurses and respiratory therapists not only helped Rylee Kate thrive, but they helped me through the darkest part of my life. Rylee Kate wouldn’t have been able to come home to us if it wasn’t for them,” Laura shared.

Rylee Kate went home on oxygen, but was able to come off after a month and a half. She is almost one year old now and continues to amaze her parents and big sister, Michaela, every day with everything she has accomplished.

Jace’s legacy will live on through his twin sister. “Jace saved our lives and I never want him to be forgotten. I am forever grateful to my baby boy. Had he not signaled that something was immediately wrong, it might have been too late to save Rylee Kate and myself,” Laura shared.

The Butler family is grateful for Phoebe’s NICU team and the equipment provided by Children’s Miracle Network that saved Rylee Kate’s life. Rylee Kate is pure joy and reminds us all that miracles do happen every day!

For more information, call Phoebe Foundation at 229-312-4483 or toll-free at 877-312-4483. You can also email Phoebe Foundation at