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Born with a depressed heart rate causing damage to his brain, Koen
was rushed to our hospital within an hour of his birth. He needed the life-saving
technology, innovative research, and expert care that we could provide. Specifically, he
needed an experimental treatment—therapeutic hypothermia
(cooling)—which had shown promise in preventing brain injuries in babies born
deprived of oxygen. It was his best chance to survive.

Thankfully, the
treatment was a success. Koen then spent the first month of his life in our neonatal
intensive care unit and intermediate nursery.

Koen’s parents,
Nickole and Ryan, weren’t able to hold him right away, but every day nurses
encouraged them to be involved and nurture tiny Koen.

made sure we felt like we were still parents by letting us do what we could like change
diapers, wash his face, and feed him little drops of milk,” remembers Nickole.
“From the beginning, the doctors and nurses gave us reason to hope. We continue
to live through the advice we received from his neurologist who said brains can do amazing
things when kids are young, so do not place any limits on what is

Little by little, Koen’s health improved
and he was able to head home with his parents. His medical journey continues, and he
receives ongoing care from our radiology, neurology, ophthalmology, and orthopedic

Now a very busy 6-year-old, Koen loves riding his favorite pony,
Buster, and swimming any chance he gets. He’s a wonderful big brother to
3-year-old Kody and he’s also really into building circuits. “And Koen
has also been a ring bearer twice and is pretty proud of that!” says

Without the support of our donors, patients like Koen could not
get the treatment they need. Thank