Meet Kid Captain Nile Kron
Witnessing life-saving expertise
At just a week old, Nile needed an MRI. To keep him calm, he needed to be sedated. Suddenly, his oxygen level and heart rate dropped, prompting an immediate response from medical personnel. They had to perform chest compressions on Nile three times that day.
Brittany and her husband, Rick, watched as the medical team saved their son’s life.
“It was a very scary 24 hours,” she said. “If not for the amazing team of doctors and nurses, Nile would not be here today.”
Communicating joy without words
Brittany cites the milestone moment when cochlear implants were turned on for the first time to help Nile hear.
“He always smiles, but you could tell it was a different kind of smile,” she says. “You could tell he was hearing.”
While Nile is still nonverbal, his parents hope he will be able to speak someday. In the meantime, they're learning sign language to better communicate with him, and his classmates are learning five signs per week. Nile also has a device that helps him communicate.
“Nile has taught us that joy can be beautifully communicated without any words. The smile on his face says it all,” Brittany says. “He doesn’t let anything stop him. He wants to be just like everybody else. He wants to fit in.”
Now 6 years old and in first grade, Nile loves riding his bicycle, playing outdoors with his construction toys, drawing and watching the bus come down the street to pick him up for school.
He continues his speech therapy at the UI Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Clinic twice a week and has attended the Listen and Speak Up summer preschool program.
The family appears at University of Iowa Center for Advancement events to share their story and to inspire other families.
“Nile was named after Nile Kinnick, one of the greatest football players who overcame many obstacles and challenges throughout his lifetime,” Brittany says. “Nile Kinnick and Nile Kron have been an inspiration to all who know their stories. Every day, Nile conquers the health challenges that are presented to him. Even though he is only 6 years old, he embodies strength and courage.”
Nile’s parents credit his care team for the progress he continues to make.
“The team treats your child like they would treat their own child,” Brittany says. “We are so grateful for his amazing care and the genuine interest in Nile’s well-being. We’re so lucky that we’re so close to the university. We’re very fortunate.”