Meet This Week's UI "Kid Captain"

The University of Iowa Children's Hospital has named Noah Hodgins, of Cedar Rapids, as their Kid Captain for the Iowa Hawkeyes football game at Penn State University on Saturday, Oct. 27.

Hodgins, 9, was born in a Cedar Rapids hospital. Shortly after, a nurse noticed unusually loud breathing and abnormal skin coloration, which led to him being transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit. After a CT scan showed nothing identifiable by doctors, he was sent home within a week.

Days later, Hodgins' condition worsened to the point that his mother, Jackie Hodgins, had to attempt resuscitative breathing on him.

"I was scared to the depths of my soul that day," Isaac Hodgins, Noah's father, said. "He was very, very sick and could’ve died right there in her arms."

After being transported by ambulance to a local hospital, Hodgins was sent to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital and admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit. Fortunately, a pediatric otolaryngologist there recognized the symptoms as congenital nasal pyriform aperture stenosis, a rare and life-threatening birth defect. It is related to nasal obstructions that make breathing very difficult for newborns.

Following surgeries at 3 weeks and 6 months after birth, Hodgins has made remarkable progress.

"It’s really neat to watch him have that tenacity and perseverance to do whatever he wants to do and overcome the obstacles he’s had to overcome in his life," Isaac said.

Hodgins has since worked with speech pathologists, nutritionists, and physical therapists to help him with lingering challenges he has faced.

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