Karin and Joe Smithson were already parents to twins West and Elise when they got pregnant again with a third child: a boy.
On Wednesday, June 23, baby Hoyte was born about two months premature; aside from his early delivery date, it seemed as though nothing else was wrong with him.
Just an hour later, though, that happy illusion was crushed.
Doctors told Joe that they tried to feed the newborn, only to find the feeding tube curling up in his mouth. His esophagus was stunted and ran into his trachea.
Karin recalls instantly being overcome by anxiety for her tiny, four-pound child. He was swept away for surgery that Friday at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. At one point, they couldn’t get his airway open and he died. After four minutes of CPR, Karin managed to restart his heart and the tiny boy opened his eyes up again.
Now, Hoyte is 2-and-a-half years old and, as his mom says, he still has to work on gravity. It’s still difficult for him to eat, and he’s had to master several tricks to choke down food and keep breathing. His body has developed, he’s gotten stronger, and his coughing mechanism has improved.
“Hoyte is our happiest kid,” his beaming mom says.
“I do believe that Hoyte is here because of prayer and because of his fighting spirit, but I also believe that Hoyte is here because Children’s is here,” she adds.
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