Toddler Finally Heading Home from Hospital

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AKRON, Ohio – Amber Younkin was a bundle of anxiety Tuesday morning.

The North Benton mother spent her morning packing up toys and clothes. She was about to take her son, Bobby, home for the very first time. He’s about 16 months old.

”We always knew in the back of our minds that he’d come home eventually,” Younkin said. “We just didn’t know when. Didn’t know it’d be this long.”

Bobby was born prematurely and suffers from chronic lung disease.

Doctors at Akron Children’s Hospital have spent about a year-and-a-half treating the toddler, who depends on a ventilator.

However, Younkin attributes much of her son’s recovery to the staff.

Neonatologist Dr. Jennifer Grow expects Bobby’s lungs will develop and he will grow up just like other kids his age.

“He’s done very nicely and so he will be like a lot of other children,” she said. “He will probably be pulling his mother’s cupboards apart and chasing after her.”

Dozens of nurses and doctors visited the family to exchange their goodbyes.

They help strap Bobby in an emergency vehicle, which safely transported him the hour-and-a-half home – a place he’s never been before.

”We’ll miss Bobby, but we’re glad he’s going home,” said registered nurse Bridget Ziemba. “It’s been a long time.”