A 1 pound heavyweight fighter

Kyle Thomspon full
Riley kid Kyle Thompson

When Kyle Thompson was born on October 1, 2013, he was just shy of 23 weeks’ gestation, weighing just 1 pound, 1 ounce. He was immediately rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Riley Hospital for Children and, twenty minutes later, he had a strong heart rate. 

“The first moment of laying eyes on Kyle was a sigh of relief to know he was still there,” recalls Kyle’s mother, Shemia. “That meant a lot. I could deal with everything else as it came but just knowing he was still there in that initial moment was everything to me.”

Kyle and Shemia had a battle ahead of them. But, Kyle is a fighter and his mother was at his side every step of the way. 

“There’s no doubt that Kyle is truly a remarkable boy and that he beat the odds,” says Riley pediatric neonatologist, Jayme Allen, M.D.  “At his weight and gestational age, his chance of surviving without a significant disability was less than 5 percent.” 

For three and a half months, Riley’s nationally recognized NICU team cared for him until he was strong enough to go home. 

Today, Kyle is an active young boy who loves to play baseball and make other people smile. Because of Riley and his mother’s unwavering strength, he gets to just be a kid.  

“Riley was really good to us. Because of them, I have this wonderful ball of joy,” says Shemia. “He loves to be the light in the dark room. We’re very grateful for Riley. They will forever have a place in our hearts.”

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The Riley Blog is written and/or edited by members of the Riley Children's Foundation Communications Staff.

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