Riley-Jo Peltier was born prematurely at 23 weeks and four days, spending 133 days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) with a small, pink and brown blanket.
Although doctors gave Riley-Jo a five percent chance of living, she beat all the odds for the past 12 years of her life. But her early start in life has left her with some lasting medical conditions that have caused her to be in and out of hospitals for most of her life.
Throughout those hospital stays and doctors’ visits, her brown and pink blanket has been right beside her: until this Monday.
The family had been to DeVos Children’s Hospital for another 15-hour emergency room visit when they noticed after coming home the next day that the blanket was missing, WZZM reported.
Riley-Jo is largely nonverbal, but she kept repeating the words “black and pink.”
“I’m like, your brown and pink?” said Kathy-Jo, her mother. “Did you lose it? And she said, yes. I said, do you know where? She said, ER, ER.”
Kathy-Jo called the hospital, but they told her it did not turn up in any lost-and-found bins. Just when she thought it might be lost for good, she made a last-ditch effort to post for help on Facebook.
Soon, hundreds of comments poured in and people offered to buy and make new ones, as well as help her search for the blanket.
Meanwhile, a registered nurse working the pediatric surgery floor at the hospital noticed a brown and pink blanket at a nurse’s station the next day.
Courtney LeClaire took a mental note of its color and design, but did not think much of it until she saw Kathy-Jo’s Facebook post.
“And as soon as I saw the little tag at the bottom, she had attached some pictures,” said LeClaire, “I knew that that was the one I had seen at the hospital.”
LeClaire had her parents drop off the blanket to the Peltier family since they lived close to each other.
On Thursday night, there was a knock at the Peltier family’s door. It was LeClaire’s parents, who dropped off the blanket.
Riley-Jo, through a communication app, replied, “Thank you so much.”