Born at 27 Weeks, Daniel is Already Famous!

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Daniel, 21 months, proudly wearing his “Daddy’s Little Slugger” t-shirt.

Daniel, 21 months, is a dynamic, intelligent, and handsome little man. Born at 27 weeks weighing only 1 lb., 7 oz., Daniel spent the first 10 months of his life in the hospital. There, he was diagnosed with a heart defect and respiratory complications due to his prematurity. Daniel’s diagnoses required him to undergo open-heart surgery at 4 months, receive a tracheostomy, and be placed on mechanical ventilation.

“Daniel has come a long way,” his mom begins.

Next month marks Daniel’s first year home with Independence Plus’ skilled hourly home nursing care. With help from his parents and nurses, Daniel has already made significant progress—including successfully weaning off the ventilator in December.

Daniel the Explorer

Daniel has been walking for almost two months, and is busy exploring his new world. Living downtown Chicago, Daniel spends his days exploring the city with his parents and nurses—Millennium Park, Navy Pier, and the Lincoln Park Zoo. Daniel and his parents also go to Macy’s every Saturday.


Daniel’s Dedication Ceremony in Los Angeles, California.

His mom explains, “Daniel is fascinated by the balloon artist.”

Daniel spends most weekends outside, especially now that the weather is nice. He enjoys going to the park and waving hello to the people who pass by him.

In January, Daniel traveled to Los Angeles, California, to visit his grandmother. While in California, Daniel and his parents participated in his Dedication Ceremony, a Christian custom similar to a baptism, to celebrate his birth and make a commitment to God.

Therapeutic Playtime

During our visit, Daniel plays a game where he identifies items in his apartment—his humidifier, smoke alarms, and light fixtures.

“Where is the humidifier, Daniel?” his mom asks. Daniel points to the humidifier.


Daniel loves to play! He is fascinated by how things work.

From the delighted expression on Daniel’s face, you can tell he enjoys this game and the praise he receives when he points to the correct item. Daniel also enjoys reading time with his parents and nurses, playing with his yellow dump truck, and walking and running around his apartment.

Famous already?

Daniel was showing great progress during his physical therapy sessions at Ann & Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago that the hospital chose to include him in their education materials for new parents.

He can be seen on the pages of the hospital’s tutorials about sitting, standing, loosening shoulders, and supported rotation for children who are on mechanical ventilation.

Daniel is well on his way, and we wish him continued success during his rehabilitation!

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