Two years after spending 4 months in the NICU, this year’s CMN Miracle Kid thrives

“There is hope... and miracles do exist.”
Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 6:27 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Neb. (KTIV) - Born 13 weeks early, Gael De Leon came before his family could even throw him a baby shower.

“My appendix ruptured and so it was a complicated birth,” said mom Sonia De Leon. “They tried to keep him in there as much as they could.”

Gael was 2 pounds 4 ounces when he was delivered via C-Section. He would spend nearly four months in the NICU at UnityPoint Health St. Lukes’s.

“You know, I was really worried that he was going to be so small,” said Sonia.

It was a miracle when he got to go home, weighing just 6 pounds. During COVID, his family, like his four older siblings, couldn’t meet him for quite some time.

Since Children’s Miracle Network helped provide the NICU with life-saving equipment, Gael and his mom didn’t have to travel to a hospital out of town.

“So it was much easier for me to just stay in town instead of traveling outside of our city, which would have made it harder for us. So it was just so helpful that they have all that equipment, you know to keep our baby healthy and growing,” said Sonia.

Almost a year later, Gael would find himself back in the pediatric unit after COVID complications. Again, Gael would be treated with equipment and stay in a decorative room funded through CMN. He may not have been able to enjoy the circus tent, but the bright colors comforted mom.

“Even though you’re going through a hard time it just makes you feel better,” said Sonia.

Gael today is in his terrible twos, according to his mom. He loves to dance and sing. For the most part, Gael is just a happy toddler.

“He is still a little bit delayed in his growth but he is doing good,” said Sonia.

That is why mom Sonia wants people to know when they donate to CMN, they are helping families just like hers.

“I just want to say thank you to everyone who has donated. It has made a big impact on our lives,” said Sonia. “There is hope... and miracles do exist.”

You can donate to CMN here.