Cincinnati Zoo Gifts #TeamFiona Onesies to Preemies at Cincinnati Children’s

Friday, April 28, 2017

The littlest patients at Cincinnati Children’s received a special gift from the Cincinnati Zoo on Friday.

Babies in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) received onesies featuring a picture of baby hippo Fiona, who was born premature at the Zoo on January 24.

“We have a unique connection with our neighbors at the Zoo because we both are caring around the clock for critically ill newborns and we share a passion for making our little ones better,” said Rachel Wilson, NICU clinical director at Cincinnati Children’s. 

In February, the NICU staff delivered a care package to Fiona’s care team with some encouraging words, superhero capes, a special book and a stuffed hippo for Fiona herself.

Later that month, members of the Vascular Access Team (VAT) at Cincinnati Children’s responded to the Zoo to help baby Fiona when she became dehydrated and in need of IV fluids. The VAT members placed a life-saving IV catheter in one of the baby hippo’s leg veins allowing her to recover, gain weight and strength.

Fiona is now a healthy weight of close to 195 pounds which is impressive since she weighed only 29 pounds at birth.

“Fiona’s premature birth made her story all too relatable for many families. She had serious health struggles, but today she is a healthy little hippo. Our great neighbor Cincinnati Children’s rushed over to help when Fiona was in critical condition,” said Thane Maynard, Cincinnati Zoo Director. “Donating #TeamFiona onesies to preemies in the NICU is a way to not only thank Cincinnati Children’s for their amazing support, but also to provide a message of hope for families with little ones in their care. They are in good hands.”

Cincinnati Children’s and the Cincinnati Zoo have collaborated over the years. They have consulted on an aardvark, baby gorillas, polar bear pregnancy tests and more.

Baby Fiona’s journey resonates with many people especially for parents keeping a close eye on their preemies in the NICU.

“We love the onesie and we love anything to support Fiona. We are all about Fiona,” said Laura Baker, mom of newborn daughter Logan who is receiving care in the NICU. “We can’t wait to meet and see her.”

Visit the Cincinnati Zoo website to keep up with Fiona.

Contact Information

Shannon Kettler