A former NICU patient is getting the chance to help newborns who were in his situation.
Boston McClarty is a healthy 10-year-old kid now, but as a newborn baby in Erlanger’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), his mom says it was a much different story.
“We were here all day every day,” says Susan McClarty.
Boston isn’t your typical 10-year-old either — he’s a published author of his very own children’s book.
With that story, he says he wants to impact the community.
“With every book that you buy, I’m going to donate a baby blanket to a NICU baby,” says Boston.
But Boston and his mother’s connection to Erlanger Hospital’s NICU goes far beyond making baby blankets.
“I was a NICU baby,” says Boston.
His mother says the NICU here became a home away from home for three months, delivering Boston and his twin brother Declan 14 weeks premature.
“We just sat and talked to him, and I would knit, and I mean what do you do,” says Susan.
Due to health complications, only one of the twins made it home.
“It was very hard. We definitely saw both sides of the NICU. We saw the tragedy, and we saw the miracle,” Susan said.
For Boston’s parents, he was that miracle. Ten years later, that miracle is now hoping to bring joy to other parents with graduating babies.
Today, some of those blankets were given out to the babies in NICU. One of the parents is Ellie Ingle.
“I was born on December 2008 at 26 weeks, and I spent three months at Erlanger,” says Ellie, reading a note left inside the plastic bag with the folded blanket.
Not only are parents getting to take home this blanket, but they’re also taking home a letter written by Boston explaining his mission.
“I wanted to be able to find a way to help sad families smile again,” reads Ellie with a smile.
Ellie says the thought of knowing that other families have gone through similar experiences in the NICU brings her a sense of hope.
“Having a family that a boy who’s writing books now and older – I’m excited about the future,” says Ellie.
Boston titled the book “Heroes are Made,” dedicating it to his late brother Declan. He is now working on his second book.
He says the mission will always stay the same: “I know it was a hard time for my parents, going through that time, so I wanted the babies’ parents to have some comfort.”
At the time of this report, Boston has donated 474 blankets to the NICU.
You can purchase Boston’s book on his website here.