HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital announced eight-year-old Lexi Sonneborn as its 2018 Children’s Miracle Network local champion child on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018, at an ice cream sundae party in her honor.
Lexi was born in 2009 at only 27 weeks gestation. She spent the first three months of her life in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at St. John’s Children’s Hospital. In addition to being premature, Lexi was born with cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus, vision problems, developmental delays, cerebellar hypoplasia and is prone to seizures. Initially, the doctors were unsure what her future would hold.
“At one point we were talking about a DNR (do not resuscitate),” said Beth Sonneborn, Lexi’s mom. “We knew how hard Lexi was fighting and knowing a tiny baby could be so strong … we knew we could, too.”
Lexi survived and although she will have life-long conditions, the prognosis is extremely positive compared to original expectations.
“She still has many hurdles to tackle but has already exceeded our expectations,” Beth said. “We will do everything we can to help her fulfill her hopes and dreams.”
As the local 2018 champion child, Lexi and her family will represent St. John’s at a variety of CMN events and in marketing materials throughout the course of the year. The Sonneborns began giving back to the hospital that saved their daughter even before receiving this honor. In 2017, Lexi and her family collected 2,000 toys to fulfill her new year’s resolution.
“We are incredibly proud of her and feel lucky that we live so close to a level III NICU with medical professionals that provides the expert care we needed,” Beth said.
St. John’s Children’s Hospital is one of more than 170 hospitals affiliated with CMN. Since 1986, CMN has helped raise more than $8.3 million for children in central Illinois. These donations have gone to support research and training, purchase equipment and much more. One hundred percent of the money raised here goes directly to programs for children in our area.
For more information about HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital and how Children’s Miracle Network benefits local kids like Lexi, visit www.sjchildrens.org.
About HSHS St. John’s Hospital
HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Illinois is a regional medical center offering a comprehensive array of health care services to central and southern Illinois. Founded in 1875, St. John’s is the flagship hospital of Hospital Sisters Health System and is home to the Prairie Heart Institute, St. John’s Children’s Hospital, St. John’s Women’s Services, St. John’s Neurosciences Institute, St. John’s Cancer Center, orthopedic services and AthletiCare. St. John’s now has one of the most advanced surgery centers in the nation and a renovated patient tower with all private rooms. St. John’s is designated as a level I trauma center, has its own college of nursing and is a teaching hospital for the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. For more information about St. John’s Hospital, visit www.st-johns.org.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high quality Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our 15 local systems and physician practices in Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.