Stories of Getting Better at Children's Hospital Colorado

The World's Strongest Little Boy

Benjamin became very sick shortly after being born. Here, at 10 months, he is completely healthy.

Finally, he was our normal, healthy baby and we could hold him.
by Tim, father of 10-month-old Benjamin

When your wife goes in for a scheduled Caesarean section and delivers a healthy 8-pound baby boy, you think the hard part is over. But, for Benjamin, the hard part was just beginning. For the first hour of his life [at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins] he was fine, everything was fine. Then he started coughing up blood. All of the sudden there's alarm. What's wrong? What's going on? I remember panicking and feeling like this wasn't supposed to happen.

The doctor told me Benjamin had developed a condition where a newborn's circulatory system doesn't transfer from its fetal circulation. In other words, his lungs weren't taking in air. And he was really, really sick. Then, they told me help was on the way. Dr. John Kinsella from Children's Hospital Colorado was driving up to Fort Collins on his day off.

At the time, Dr. Kinsella was just another doctor. But now, I see him as an angel that saved our little boy. It was Dr. Kinsella who made it possible for Benjamin to be stable enough to fly to Children's Hospital Colorado. I didn't know at the time that this guy was the leading researcher in exactly Benjamin's condition, but I knew he was going to do whatever it took to save Benjamin —and that was all I cared about.

Once Benjamin got to Children's Hospital Colorado, things started to improve. I remember sitting next to him saying he was my strongest little boy, my biggest fighter. And he was—he didn't have to go onto the ECMO because he began stabilizing on his own.

By the fourth day we were there, Dr. Kinsella looked at us and said, "This is the first time I feel comfortable saying he's going to pull through." As a parent, that's what you're waiting to hear. Finally, it was as though someone took a mountain off my shoulders.