Some respiratory therapists at UAMS have advanced equipment they use to keep some of the tiniest babies alive.
When Aaron Whitekiller and Lacy Sullins found out their son Rylan would be premature, they were scared.
"We knew some of the outcomes weren't very good," Sullins says.
Dr. Ashley Ross with UAMS pediatrics says, "Rylan was born very early, very premature and just didn't have the lungs to really support life without some assistance."
Dr. Ross ordered that Rylan be placed on a breathing machine, which meant inserting a breathing tube.
"I couldn't do that without a respiratory therapist," Dr. Ross says.
Rylan also had to be placed on a ventilator, another process demonstrating the importance of a respiratory therapist.
Respiratory therapists are the specialized group needed to make sure patients have what they need when they can't breathe on their own.
"it's just an amazing job."
Bethany Hartz has been a respiratory therapist for two years.
"it's a very neat, neat career to help them in their first days of life, to just help them be able to breathe on their own," Hartz says.
Respiratory therapists are not usually seen much, but their jobs are vital in any hospital setting.
"If they have issues with breathing and complications, then we will put a breathing tube in," says respiratory therapist Betty Proffitt. "Sometimes we put medication down that breathing tube, that helps with the development of the lungs."
UAMS also uses a respiratory machine that breathes up to 900 times a minute.
Rylan has been weaned off of his breathing machine, but respiratory therapists are there just in case.
"We're always there to judge from day to day and reassess and put him back if we have to," Proffitt says.
The day-to-day part is what his father says is hard to do.
"Pray each and every day that he's gonna get better, but it's a long haul just try and stick with it," he says.