Kyle Mau

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Little Fighter Kyle MauWhen Tara Mau gave birth to her son on April 11, 1986, she was told that he would not be expected to survive.

Born at 25 weeks, Kyle James Mau weighed just 1 pound and 5 ounces. He was placed in the Baker Regional NICU under the care of Steven Gross, MD.

If he did survive, doctors explained, the probability of a life of disease and disability was highly likely.

At just eight days old, Kyle underwent patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) surgery. PDA is a common congenital heart defect that can be more threatening to premature babies. After the surgery, Kyle’s parents were told he would not recover.

Tara sat with her son in the unit every day. She remembers, “He fought, I fought, Dr. Gross fought for him.”

All of that fighting worked a miracle when four months later, Tara got a phone call from Dr. Gross announcing that her Little Fighter was ready to come home.

Kyle went home on oxygen and an apnea monitor, needing retinopathy treatment and with the caution of potential health problems in the future.

Now, 31 years later, Kyle is a healthy college graduate. He experiences no long-term health issues as result of prematurity besides occasional pain around his surgery scar.

Currently, Kyle works in the postal business and aspires to open up his own travel agency to help people who would otherwise be unable to go on adventures. He is an animal lover and is focused on enjoying life.

As for Tara, her NICU experience inspired her to spend her career in clinical research. Each time she drives by Crouse Hospital, she says a prayer to Dr. Gross and the nurses for her “handsome, smart, generous and compassionate son who is alive because of the NICU at Crouse.”

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