Koen: Your Monthly Giving Featured Patient

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.

“They 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 possible.”

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 teams.

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 Nickole.

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