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Meet Henry: 2023 UH Rainbow Champion!

Born at 23 weeks and just 1.5 pounds to parents suffering from addiction, Henry faced many challenges and uncertainties in his early days in UH Rainbow’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. For the first several months of his life, Henry relied on a ventilator to breathe and an NG Tube for his nutrition in an effort to give his organs more time to develop.

Unfortunately Henry’s biological mother was overcome by her addition, leaving him with his UH Rainbow team to provide the care he so desperately needed. For the next few months they provided so much more than medical care, truly showing Henry the love and support he needed to survive. In addition to caring for him as if he was their own child, the Rainbow team began advocating on Henry’s behalf in hopes he would find a family before he was ready to leave the hospital.

Meanwhile, Tara and Sebastian Amoroso had been thinking of growing their family. They had selected an adoption agency and were prepared to start the process when Tara received a phone call that would change their lives forever. It turned out that member of Tara’s extended family had given birth, but was unable to care for the baby and Tara and Sebastian could go to UH Rainbow to meet him.

At their first visit, it was clear to everyone, especially Henry’s head nurse Renee, they were meant to be a family. The Amorosos spent two more months with Henry in the NICU while he continued to grow. His swallowing reflex hadn’t developed while he was on the ventilator so it took a lot of physical therapy and eventually the placement of a G-Tube to ensure Henry was getting the nutrients he needed. When he was finally ready to be released from the hospital, Tara and Sebastian were able to take him home as his legal guardians. A year and a half later, just one week before Henry’s second birthday, he officially became an Amoroso. Now five-years-old, Henry is in preschool, playing soccer, and absolutely thriving!