Babies Thriving, Parents Celebrating Anniversary at CHoP - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Babies Thriving, Parents Celebrating Anniversary at CHoP

Posted: Updated:
University City -

Thousands of children probably wouldn't be alive today, if it wasn't for a local resource most of us take for granted. 

Fifty-years ago, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia opened the first-ever neo-natal intensive care unit, also known as the nic-u.  And parents of sick babies have been grateful every day since, including the parents of Chaya Cheng.  "We get to go home tomorrow," Chaya's mother Talya Schaeffer told FOX 29 with a smile on her face.  "That's the rumor all the doctors are spreading."

That may not sound surprising if you see 10-month-old Chaya.  She looks happy and healthy.  But a look at photos taken when she was born, 11 weeks early, show a tiny fragile newborn.  She weighed only one pound five ounces.  Three months later, when she arrived at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, "It was touch and go," Schaeffer said.  "I mean, she came here, she was incredibly sick."  
 

Throughout the first months of Chaya's life, Schaeffer wondered, "Is she going to live, or is she going to die?  And is it going to be today?  Is it going to be in an hour.  Is it going to be in 10 minutes?  It is a horrifying feeling." 

One that President Kennedy and his wife went through in 1963.  John and Caroline's little brother Patrick arrived five-and-a-half weeks early, and died two days later.  "The type of therapies that we expect today were just not available," explained Dr. Steven Altschuler, the chief executive officer of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.  Fox 29 asked Dr. Altschuler if he thought that child might have survived today?  "Guaranteed," he said, without hesitation.  

And that's largely because of the neonatal intensive care unit at CHoP.  The hospital opened the very first one in 1962, an anniversary that thousands of grateful parents everywhere are celebrating. 

"It was really a departure from the way care had been organized," Dr. Altschuler said.  "So if you think about events that completely change the way you think about an issue," the opening of the nic-u was one of them. 

Dr. Altschuler called it a revolutionary idea.  Groundbreaking research still continues at CHoP, to try to improve the lives of the babies treated there.  For example, "Some of these babies get their lungs affected for the rest of their lives," Dr. Phyllis Dennery explained.  "How do we prevent that?"  Dr. Dennery is the division chief of the hospital's Neonatology unit.  
    

"Thank God there's a place like CHoP for these children to go to, because without CHoP my daughter wouldn't be here," Schaeffer said.
    

When it opened in 1962, CHoP's nic-u had only 12 beds in one room.  Today there are 95 beds, and 1,200 infants a year receive treatment there.

  • FOX 29 Health FeaturesMore>>

  • Ya Gotta Try This Tasting

    Ya Gotta Try This Tasting

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:34 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:34:59 GMT
    Join FOX 29's Mike Jerrick and the Good Day Philadelphia team for a tasty night of yummy treats benefiting local youth.You've all seen Mike's weekly "Ya Gotta Try This" segments on Good Day Philadelphia, where he visits local restaurants and eating establishments to try their signature, and sometimes, unusual, dishes. Now you have the chance to do the same at the "Ya Gotta Try This" Tasting, Thursday, October 2nd, 6:30 to 9:30, at the Independence Visitor Center, One North Independence Mall W...
    Join FOX 29's Mike Jerrick and the Good Day Philadelphia team for a tasty night of yummy treats benefiting local youth.You've all seen Mike's weekly "Ya Gotta Try This" segments on Good Day Philadelphia, where he visits local restaurants and eating establishments to try their signature, and sometimes, unusual, dishes. Now you have the chance to do the same at the "Ya Gotta Try This" Tasting, Thursday, October 2nd, 6:30 to 9:30, at the Independence Visitor Center, One North Independence Mall W...
  • Local Cardiologist Says Expired Medical Devices Can Save Lives

    Local Cardiologist Says Expired Medical Devices Can Save Lives

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:47 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:47:06 GMT
    Most people rummage around their garage, looking for old stuff to sell or throw out, not doctor Daniel Neville Mascarenhas.
    Most people rummage around their garage, looking for old stuff to sell or throw out, not doctor Daniel Neville Mascarenhas.
  • A Look At The Affluenza Controversy

    A Look At The Affluenza Controversy

    Saturday, July 19 2014 3:08 PM EDT2014-07-19 19:08:19 GMT

    Too rich and privileged to know right from wrong? It's called "affluenza," and some have tried to use it as a legal defense! Hear why a local man says the so-called affliction is very real.

    Too rich and privileged to know right from wrong? It's called "affluenza," and some have tried to use it as a legal defense! Hear why a local man says the so-called affliction is very real.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • 3 Injured, Child Killed In Grays Ferry Shooting

    3 Injured, Child Killed In Grays Ferry Shooting

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:20 PM EDT2014-08-02 03:20:11 GMT
    SkyFOX was live over the scene on the 1500 of South Etting Street in South Philadelphia around 9:40 p.m. on Friday. Police say four people have been shot. According to authorities, a 3-year-old girl was shot, one time in the left side of her chest. She was transported to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and was pronounced dead. 
    SkyFOX was live over the scene on the 1500 of South Etting Street in South Philadelphia around 9:40 p.m. on Friday. Police say four people have been shot. According to authorities, a 3-year-old girl was shot, one time in the left side of her chest. She was transported to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and was pronounced dead. 
  • Philadelphia Cabs Set To Have Security Cameras

    Philadelphia Cabs Set To Have Security Cameras

    Friday, August 1 2014 11:14 PM EDT2014-08-02 03:14:51 GMT
    Philadelphia cab owners are being told they must install new security cameras, and not everyone is happy about it.
    Philadelphia cab owners are being told they must install new security cameras, and not everyone is happy about it.
  • Suspect Confesses To Murder, Police Search For Bodies In Park

    Suspect Confesses To Murder, Police Search For Bodies In Park

    Friday, August 1 2014 10:22 PM EDT2014-08-02 02:22:08 GMT
    Authorities say they are searching allegedly for two dismembered bodies buried in a wooded in Indian Rock Park in Springfield after a murder suspect confessed to killing two people.
    Authorities say they are searching allegedly for two dismembered bodies buried in a wooded in Indian Rock Park in Springfield after a murder suspect confessed to killing two people.
Powered by WorldNow

25 FOX Drive
Dedham, MA 02026

Phone (781) 467-2525

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices