I always thought that having my first baby would be one of the most exciting times of my life. But it ended up being one of the scariest, because my precious little baby girl, Josie, was born at only 27 weeks and 4 days old.

Despite significant prematurity, two severe brain hemorrhages, a brain shunt, countless needle pokes, tubes and oxygen, she survived. All in all, we spent 80 days in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU) at Cincinnati Children’s, waiting for her to get strong and big enough to come home.

She is now a thriving, beautiful, 3-year-old—all because of the continuing care she gets from the amazing and loving therapists, nurses, doctors and staff at Cincinnati Children’s. Josie is followed by many specialty services there—in fact, she has had more than 30 visits in less than six months this year!

I often joke that the medical center is like our second home because we’re there so much. I’ve considered moving closer to my family for help with Josie, but I just can’t leave Cincinnati Children’s. The medical care, variety of therapies and programs they have for kids like my daughter is so rare! It’s just such a special and unique hospital for kids—I can’t imagine finding the level of care she receives anywhere else.

I’m sincerely thankful that Cincinnati Children’s not only saved my baby’s life, but that they are helping me give her the best life possible.

Karla, grateful mom of Josie