by Suzie Rippy
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born
I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
– Jeremiah 1:5
This is the incredible miracle story of a baby’s fighting spirit and of a mother and father’s courage to walk “the road less traveled” with courage and hope.
Dania and Craig Robinson fell in love and married in their mid-forties. Craig had always wanted to be a dad, and he embraced Dania’s two grown sons. The couple made plans to begin their life together as a duo. But, as they say, “Man plans and God smiles.” Dania soon found herself pregnant, at forty-four years old, with a baby boy.
“It had been twenty years since I had changed a diaper,” laughed Dania, “and I don’t think Craig had ever had the pleasure!” Surprised, but excited, the pair moved forward into the pregnancy with eager anticipation. Everything about Dania’s pregnancy went according to plan: the baby’s kicks and heartbeat were strong, and the delivery was without complication. Corbin Lance Robinson was born in The Birth Center at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital – Tyler at nearly thirty-seven weeks, weighing 7 lbs. 3 oz. The parents immediately embraced their precious new baby for exactly what he was, a miracle. When a baby is born, it’s always a life-changing day but even more so for the Robinson family. Corbin, their amazing and beautiful child, was born with Down Syndrome.
Within the first few hours of birth, Corbin had challenges with feeding and breathing. Fortunately, he was born at the only hospital in Tyler with a Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, just down the hall from the Birth Center, and he was seamlessly moved into the expert care of the neonatal team. The Robinsons were very grateful to have such skilled caregivers rallying around their child with the most advanced technology possible. Doctors discovered a hole in the newborn’s heart and began closely monitoring to determine if he needed surgery. They also found that Corbin had congenital hypothyroidism, a rare condition that prevents his body from making normal amounts of thyroid hormone.
“We said to ourselves, being chosen to be Corbin’s parents is the most special thing in the world, and we will love him unconditionally,” said Dania. “We already knew that Corbin was a fighter, and with the help of the NICU team and the support of our family and friends, we knew that he would be okay. They treated Corbin as if he was their own, and that’s what makes great doctors and caregivers. We cannot thank them enough.”
After thirty-five days, Corbin was discharged from the NICU, and his parents scheduled an appointment with a pediatric endocrinologist to begin treatment to stabilize his thyroid. Although his lungs had grown stronger during his hospital stay, Corbin had to remain on full-time oxygen until he was nearly nine months old. Miraculously, at his one-year-old visit doctors determined that the hole in his heart had closed on its own, and Corbin would not need heart surgery!
Corbin is now a three-year-old, happy, healthy kid! He sees a CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic pediatric endocrinologist, and he participates in several programs of the CHRISTUS Cares Clinic. He recently started school, where he sees a speech, physical, and occupational therapist and is making tremendous strides every day.
Corbin’s favorite activities include listening to music, singing, and dancing; loving on his two dogs; and making new friends everywhere he goes. He is a local celebrity in his hometown of Arp, and he inspires those around him with his joyful smile and outgoing personality. Dania and Craig say that their child is truly the reflection of their love, faith, devotion, and hard work as parents. “Being a parent is never easy, but it is definitely worth it! He’s going to be happy; he’s going to be smart; he’s going to make us proud,” they said.
Christina Mosier, Manager of CMNH for CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Foundation, said, “We are so happy to be able to share Corbin and his family’s story of courage and hope. When Miracle Families open up their lives to the community, it is a blessing and encouragement to others in Northeast Texas whose children may struggle with similar issues,” said Christina. “We believe that nothing is more important than the health of our children, and we are proud to be the only designated Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in Northeast Texas,” she said.
For thirty-five years, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital – Tyler, has been making miracles happen for the sick and injured kids of Northeast Texas. With community support, including the contributions of thousands of donors, young and old, corporate and private, CMNH has raised over twenty-one million dollars since 1987 to support pediatric programs and equipment that bring health and hope to each child who comes through their doors.
The Robinsons are happy to represent Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, to tell their story and show the world what a miracle Corbin truly is. Others may assume that having a child with Down Syndrome would take away their happy life. Dania and Craig say that it was just the beginning of living life and appreciating all that life has to offer. “It isn’t just about me and Dania anymore, it’s about the three of us,” said Craig. “Corbin has changed all of our lives. He has been a joy and our reason to believe that anything is possible; our strength to fight and our most amazing excuse to slow down and enjoy the small things in life,” said Craig.
When you give to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, you are helping make miracles happen for children like Corbin. One hundred percent of the funds raised stay here, providing health and hope for children throughout East Texas.
To learn more about Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals programs and giving opportunities, visit christustmffoundation.org.
Programs supported by CMNH
• Child Life Program
• CHRISTUS Cares Clinic
• Flight for Life Pediatric Transport Services
• Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital – Tyler
• Pediatric Services in the EmergencyCARE Center
• Pediatric Services at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital – Jacksonville
• Southside Bank Children’s Center at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital – Tyler
• Tyler Square Ambulatory Surgery Center