As soon as his parents knew they were pregnant, they named their son to be, Killian, which means small and fierce. It would turn out that was the perfect name.
At 25 weeks, Killian’s mom suddenly went into labor. The doctors did all they could to hold off delivery for more than three days of active labor in order to give Killian several rounds of steroids to strengthen his lungs. And then little fighter Killian made his grand entrance into the world, weighing in at 2lbs, 2oz.
Killian was born so early, much of his natural development had not taken place yet. His lungs were not ready to function on their own and his brain was not developed enough to help his lungs breath automatically. Killian was intubated, required a feeding tube for nutrition, and received a PICC line to deliver caffeine and other medications to his heart. And tiny Killian also underwent surgery to repair an unclosed hole in his aorta. His fragile, paper-thin skin could not maintain a safe body temperature. Can you imagine having a new little baby and not being able to hold him or touch him because his skin was so fragile it could easily tear?
“The sight of his tiny body connected to so many wires, tubes, sensors and monitors was truly shocking and frightening. Thankfully, Killian bravely battled through more than 100 days in the NICU and earned his way to a discharge home close to his original due date,” says Killian’s mother, Nina.
More than 4,400 babies will be cared for at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Newborn Intensive and Special Care Units this year. We are the largest neonatal network in the country. We provide the most advanced treatments from the most caring doctors and the most sophisticated technology the world has to offer. We are big, but what we do is for the tiniest among us.
“Nationwide Children’s Hospital represents world-class medical care available in our community when we needed it most. Prior to Killian, our family had absolutely no awareness of prematurity, NICUs, and everything that goes on in that world. We generically knew about Nationwide Children’s Hospital, but we had no idea the level of expertise, the depth of compassion by clinicians, and the devotion to helping kids get better,” says Killian’s father, Tim.
Killian has faced a slow recovery, requiring many visits to a variety of clinics at Nationwide Children’s through his six years of life. Today he enjoys building with Legos, riding bikes, playing with cars, drawing monsters, jumping on the trampoline, practicing Parkour, playing video games, wrestling with his brothers, and learning about history including ancient Egypt and the presidents.
“He is a happy, healthy, and silly – but still fierce! 6 year old,” says Nina. And Killian also loves making new friends and being around other people – a perfect fit for a Miracle Mile Patient Champion at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon!