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Akron mom refuses to leave miracle preemie baby’s hospital bedside

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AKRON-  – At just four weeks old, Royce Cannon is being called a miracle baby. He came into the world prematurely on November 9 at Akron Children’s Hospital. Mom Felice Renfroe says at just 30 weeks into her pregnancy, she was diagnosed with preeclampsia.

Felice says, "I had protein in my urine and they were scheduling me to take steroid shots. The first day I was fine, then the second day I went to take another steroid shot and they ended up admitting me because of my high blood pressure."

The 25-year-old had to undergo an emergency C-section to deliver her first child. Born only weighing 3lbs, 2oz, little Royce’s organs weren’t fully developed, particularly his lungs. Neo-natal nurse practitioner Stephanie Sykes said, "They are only supposed to be digesting amniotic fluid so breathing, doing air exchange, carbon dioxide, and oxygen is a big task so he needed a little help with that."

So, for four weeks, baby Royce has been receiving help breathing and eating inside the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. And excluding his first hour of life, Felice, who works as a nurse’s aide, has not left her son’s side.

"I think that makes such a huge difference in baby's development and how well they do in the NICU when their parents are there all the time,” said Sykes. Felice adds, "He's just soaring, he's just doing what he's supposed to do and I'm just blessed I got a chance and I do have a chance to be here every day."

Nurses say Royce must be able to eat by mouth eight times a day, gain weight and maintain a certain temperature before getting the okay to go home. And while that probably won’t be before Christmas, Felice says she’s already received the best gift of all. "But I think he's my miracle baby because he just like I said, he's striving every day."

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