Sunday, March 30, 2008

Power of the Pen

The following article about Kyle ran in our local newspaper last month. I thought those of you from out of town that keep up with Kyle might enjoy it...

Power of the Pen: Premature infant marks first birthday

by Andree Niswander, reporter

I'm sitting here looking at a pen.

As a writer, this ink-filled instrument is essential to my work. It's probably the most powerful tool I use every day ... well, that, and my computer. Every quote ever taken and every story ever written first fell from some little, unassuming pen.

That's probably why there are lots of them in one little compartment of my desk drawer. Most of them work, and some don't. Some are red, and others black. Some have caps, and some, sadly, have chew marks. Regardless of their present state, these pens play a fairly big role in my day-to-day work. And yet, all of them are tiny enough to get lost in the abyss called my purse or into the car seat, never to return.

Despite its importance in my life, the pen doesn't usually get a second look from me. But today is different. I can't stop looking at this pen, and that's because it's not just any pen that has captured my attention.

I'm looking at a newborn photo of Kyle Kupiec, born four months premature last February to Stow residents Joe and Jennifer Kupiec during an Orlando vacation. In the photo, Kyle's lying in a bed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Florida Hospital South, and in the foreground, his father holds a pen to demonstrate the size of this tiny, little, tape and tube-covered body.

A pen ... not a yardstick, or even a ruler. The comparable measuring tool for Kyle one year ago was a pen. And in the photo, he's not much longer than the pen.

Suddenly, the pen doesn't look so little ... or significant.

I am without words, even with the drawer full of pens. For a writer, that's fairly unusual.
I'm struck by this powerful portrait.

How could such a tiny, frail baby survive? And yet he did. This week, Kyle turned 1.

No longer a 1-pound, 6-ounce, pen-sized preemie, Kyle survived three surgeries in his first six months on his heart, eyes and bilateral hernias, 69 days on life support and ventilators, a weight drop to just 18 ounces, 11 blood transfusions, pneumonia, numerous infections, and 119 days in the hospital.

He's been home for eight months, weighs 16 pounds, and he is thriving, according to Jennifer.

Born with a hole in his heart, Kyle had a surgery when he was just 2 weeks old to repair the problem. He'll always have a metal clip in his heart, she said, "but his heart's fine. He can do everything ... He can have a normal life."

With 20-20 vision, Kyle really has eyes for his big sister, 8-year-old Madison, said Jennifer.

"We've always said that his sister is his favorite toy, ever since he came home from the hospital. When she walks in the room, he just lights up," she said. "She's a great big sister."

To keep friends and family posted on Kyle's past and present progress, his parents created a Web site,

This week, the family will return to Orlando, a trip that will include a hospital reunion, with doctors, nurses and another family whose child was in the facility with Kyle.

The Kupiecs also plan to visit Disney World, and to provide dinner to current residents of the Orlando Ronald McDonald House, the Kupiec's second home during their four-month stay, said Jennifer.

The family also takes meals to Akron's Ronald McDonald House.

"When you have a child faced with a life-threatening medical crisis, life can become very stressful, very quickly. Added to the mix, we were 1,000 miles away from home. We are so thankful to the Ronald McDonald House, for providing us with a home away from home," she said.

With his pen-sized beginning, Kyle definitely has made a mark on the Kupiec family, said Jennifer, "We're complete, and we're just so happy. With everything we've been through, not knowing if he'd survive, everything he does, we just appreciate it. We take nothing for granted. We feel blessed to have him here."


Breanne Davis said...

I loved this article. I actually found it awhile ago off of one of the comments that someone left you. I liked it so much I wrote the writer and told them what a great job they did. I have already printed it out to put in Rylee's keepsake book.

Anonymous said...

Aunt Sandra says
That was really nice what they put in the paper and will be nice to have when Kyle grows up. He will be like my granddaughter, she looks at all her pictures and tapes we took and put them on cd's and she can't believe she was ever that little. Their little miracles thats for sure, my granddaughter, Kyle and Rylee also.

Thanks for sharing that with all of us that aren't in Ohio. I hope you have a great week and enjoy every minute of it with your family.God Bless you all, I love you.

Love & Prayers, Aunt Sandra

Breanne said...

Where is your April Fools joke this year? I still remember it last year when you said you were pregnant and I called my mom right away to tell her and then I see April Fools. That was so funny looking back on it. I figured you would have come up with something really good this year too. Hope you had a great day!!

Give Kyle kisses from Rylee.

L&DRNKY said...

I just skimmed over your blog for the first time. You are so strong and blessed. Your children are beautiful and amazing. I work in a high risk labor and delivery unit and I see things like this all the time. I am so glad you chose to do everything possible because miracles from God can happen. He is a special boy with a real reason for being on this earth. God Speed--Renee in Lex, KY

twin power mommy said...

also a mother of surviving preemies (yeah, twins) born at 25 weeks. I am amazed at how well your son is doing. Our God is so good.
Feel free to check out my blog anytime! Have a great day!

Promotional Pens said...

A blog worth reading on forward until the end! :) I really admire the wording in this blog, quite precise to the details but I just might change one or two things, never-the-less, bravo on well choiced words mate.. p.s.>> Thanks for sharing, I actually picked up some knowledge on this one :)
-Have an amazing day!