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'It's Equivalent to a Medication for Her' Parents of Micro Preemie in Search of Special Formula Amid Shortage

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Like families across the country, parents of one micro preemie are on a desperate mission to get her the special formula she needs amid the shortage.

MacKenzie Jaehnert was born three months early and had to spend more than 100 days in the NICU according to her parents.

“She has survived and thrived and is smiling and happy. We’ll do anything we can to keep that going,” Mac Jaehnert, MacKenzie’s father told “Good Morning America.”

To keep MacKenzie that way Mac Jaehnert said, “that means getting her the formula she needs.”

“This is mission critical for keeping this kid healthy and growing and out of the hospital right now,” he said.

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Mac Jaehnert explained that his daughter requires a special brand of formula called Similac’s NeoSure and that it is one of the many brands of formula “that has become very difficult to find.”

NeoSure “is nutrient-enriched formula for babies who were born prematurely. Designed to be used as a preterm post-discharge formula,” according to Abbot Nutrition.

“She’s in the one percentile for her weight chart. You don’t have a lot of floor below that to fall before you really have to do some serious medical intervention,” he said.

MacKenzie’s mother further explained the severity of the situation saying, “We can’t take any chances. This is something that her doctors have put her on.”

“It is not a choice we’ve necessarily made. It is something that is a basically a medication. It’s equivalent to a medication for her. If you’re not in the position that us and other parents are in, it’s really hard to understand just how serious and scary it is,” she continued.

Describing what the situation is like for those who may not understand Mac Jaehnert said, “Imagine all of the taps in your house have run dry, and now every bottle of water is off the shelf. That’s what it feels like.”

Mac Jaehnert brought GMA viewers along while attempting to buy NeoSure at six different stores, striking out each time. He said it is one of the most frustrating things he’s ever experienced in his life.

“I mean, we get this kid home after what she has been through, after, you know, all of this hardship, all of these hoops, all of these, you know doctors upon doctors who’ve had to get her to where she is now. And the problem is we can’t keep something as basic as baby formula on the shelf.”

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Continuing he said, “It is disappointing to the point of angering and, you know, looking at what it is forcing fellow parents to do is nothing short of heartbreaking,” he said.

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