Moms praise Kapiolani for babies' success


POSTED: Tuesday, August 25, 2009


— By Cassidy Kearney

One day during the fourth month of pregnancy, my blood pressure soared, and I had swelling of the legs. My doctor told me that I would have to come into the hospital for a checkup. When I arrived at Kapiolani Hospital, my blood pressure went even higher, and the doctor told me that I might lose my child. I was kept overnight, and in the morning my blood pressure had returned to normal. I was told to take it easy, rest more and watch my weight.

The toxemia and no weight gain placed Michael under stress, and there was concern about whether he would survive. The doctor informed me that if the baby did survive, he would be developmentally slow. The doctor induced labor. After 37 hours Michael was born, almost two months premature, on Jan. 18, 1984. He weighed in at 4 pounds, 2 ounces, and was 13 inches long.

I began to notice Michael doing things that were out of the ordinary sequence in the typical child's development around 5 months of age. He began to use three- to four-word sentences. Michael was precocious. By the age of 10 months, Michael knew his numbers and letters, and could read 30 product names from seeing television commercials. What he was learning from the television proved to me that Michael was not developmentally slow as predicted. It was the first indication of how wrong the doctors were.

When he was 5 years old, Michael enrolled simultaneously in Nova Independent High School and San Marin High School, both in Novato, Calif. At Nova he was assigned an independent-study high school teacher who arranged for books and tests. At San Marin High School he took algebra and French. He finished the entire California High School curriculum in one year.

The following year, at the age of 6, Michael enrolled as a full-time college student at Santa Rosa Junior college. Four years later, on June 5, 1994, my 10-year-old, Michael Kevin Kearney, became the youngest college graduate in world history. According to the Guinness Book of Records, Michael bested the previous youngest college graduate by nearly a year and a half.

That was pretty good for a child who was almost two months premature and supposed to be developmentally slow. I think he had the best care possible.


Ashlyn, born 28 weeks premature

— By Tiffany Sera

I was born at Kapiolani 30 years ago, and so were my children. My son Tanner, now 6, had excellent care there, as did my family when our second son (Carter) was born at only 22 weeks, took one breath and did not survive.

Our daughter, Ashlyn, was also born at Kapiolani, at 28 weeks premature. Ashlyn had complications and was in the NICU and intermediate care for six weeks before coming home to us. In the NICU, Ashlyn received ultimate care by knowledgeable and caring doctors and nurses who assisted in her every need. They fed her, held her, changed her, cleaned her and offered us support in every way possible.

Throughout the six weeks, the staff kept us updated daily and even called when a milestone was reached. To us, that goes above and beyond what's expected.

Now, 2 1/2 years since Ashlyn's birth, she's healthy, happy and very loved ... thanks in part to Kapiolani. That's our Kapiolani story, and we are ever grateful for them.