Preemies receive Fiona book for World Prematurity Awareness Day

(Provided photo)
(Provided photo)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Families of premature babies received a special gift for World Prematurity Awareness Day.

They were given the book "Fiona's Feelings."

It's all about another preemie, Fiona the hippo.

Mia was one of the babies to receive the book. The Trenton girl was born at 33 weeks and 5 days on June 21. She still remains in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

"It was so inspiring to be able to receive the first book knowing all that Fiona and Mia has went through are similar struggles and they never give up," said Mia's mother, Lauren Sellars. "No matter what, preemies are the strongest babies and my daughter is my hero!"

Fiona was born six weeks premature and it took a team of caregivers to help her overcome a series of health issues.

"I think Fiona, her strength is just inspiring," said Sellars. "They support Fiona and a lot of people support Mia as well. All the support we can get is just that much more helpful to get through the roller coaster ride."

"Fiona's Feelings" was written by John Hutton, MD, a pediatrician at Cincinnati Children's.

He donated the books and even read to little Mia in the hospital.

"What I really hope to achieve is really have the book serve as a way for grownups and kids to share feelings," said Dr. Hutton. "Really explore social-emotional health. There's a lot of talk in reading, about learning skills, learning to read and the alphabet and things like that, that's important but I think that emotional connection and the humanity of reading is really important too."

Fiona is now happy and healthy, and provides hope for others struggling with a premature birth.

Premature birth remains the leading cause of death in children under the age of five worldwide. November 17 is designated World Prematurity Day to raise awareness about the long-term health problems babies may face.

The Center for Prevention of Preterm Birth at Cincinnati Children's is on a mission to stop such early births from occurring in the first place.

"Being born prematurely is one of the most important health problems we face today, and can result in long-term problems in growth, breathing, and development," said Louis Muglia, MD, PhD, co-director of the Perinatal Institute at Cincinnati Children's. "We continue building upon our research and treatments to give every baby the best chance for a healthy life."

A portion of the proceeds from "Fiona's Feelings" goes to the Cincinnati Zoo.

Go here for more information about the book.

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