A large donation made to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital could help save the smallest lives.

Watch this story

The Hearst Foundation donated $150,000 to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. WLWT sat down with a family who said their little boy is still alive because of the NICU.

Fourteen-month-old Remy was born six weeks early and weighed under 3 pounds. He spent the first month of his life in the NICU at Miami Valley Hospital.

As a follow-up, Remy saw Dr. Tanya Cahill at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Remy’s mother, Leslie Preston, said Cahill recognized quickly that something was wrong with Remy’s breathing.

“We went to Cincinnati Children’s, saw all the specialists and had a sleep study done, which they said was extremely severe. Sleep study with apnea, which meant he stopped breathing over 300 times in one night,” Preston said.

Remy spent the next four and a half months in the NICU at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

“We spent every night in the hospital, we didn’t spend a night at home,” Leslie said.

After several surgeries, a tracheotomy and the insertion of a feeding tube, Remy was able to go home. He is now a patient at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital NICU Follow-Up Clinic.

The program serves as a bridge for families when they leave the NICU and transition back into their homes.

“Our goal is to help that family. We answer questions, we’re available for phone calls, we see these babies and follow-up to make sure their transition is safe,” Cahill said.

The money donated will not only help the clinic function, Cahill said, but it will also pay for developmental testing programs for employees.

“There are certain developmental tests that are ideally suited for babies like Remy as he moves forward, to help define what areas he might be struggling in and where his therapies might best be focused. But we have to train people to do that,” Cahill said.

Donations like this are crucial, according to Cahill.

“This is such an important piece for these babies that we’ve invested so much into from birth,” Cahill said. “We’re going to continue to invest in them.”

Remy could possibly have more surgeries, according to his mother. However, his prognosis is good. He’s attending speech and feeding therapy. The goal, Preston said, is to get Remy to learn how to eat and catch up on milestones.

The William Randolph Hearst Foundation and The Hearst Foundation, Inc., made the donation. Those agencies operate separately from the Hearst Corporation, which is WLWT’s parent company.