A preemie from Connecticut who weighed just 11 ounces when he was born is finally home after growing to nearly 11 pounds during nine miracle months at two Westchester hospitals.
When Connor Florio was born on July 13, 2018, in the 27th week of his mother’s pregnancy, he was small enough to fit in his father’s hands, at Westchester Medical Center, where he was the tiniest baby ever treated.
His parents, who live in Danbury, Conn., were told their child’s chance of survival was extremely low. Connor was quickly transferred to Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital’s NICU.
Connor was admitted to Blythedale Children’s Hospital in December 2017 when he was stable and weighed 6.6 pounds. He was suffering from a number of medical issues, including chronic lung illness, and began intensive occupational, physical, and nutritional therapy.
When Connor was born, Dr. Dennis Davidson, neonatologist and unit chief for the infant and toddler unit at Blythedale, said it was difficult to even find the tools to treat him.
“They don’t make tubes for his airway that are the size for the baby,” Davidson said.
“It kind of takes your mind off from being away from family and being in the hospital during the holidays, and just lets you have a lot of fun with it,” said Connor’s mother Jamie Florio.
Connor is not just surviving, but thriving.
“I didn’t really believe he was coming home until we took him to the car and brought him to the house,” Jaimie Florio said from her Danbury home.
The road from birth to homecoming was a long one, his doctor pointed out.
During Connor’s stay at Blythedale, both dad and mum participated in the hospital’s Parent and Caregiver Education program to learn how to care for him without the support of hospital staff.
Davidson — who has spent about 40 years treating premature babies — called Connor a “rascal,” and pointed out that most infants he’s treated have never survived at such a low birth weight, he said.
“Those that have survived are extremely at risk for long-term developmental problems,” the doctor added. “Connor is feisty, has a social smile, reaches for things, and his growth is on track.”