Kid Captain: Nile Kron

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The health care journey of 6-year-old Nile Kron, of Iowa City, Iowa, began before he was even born at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

Diagnosed via ultrasound, providers discovered the first signs of a potential cleft lip and palate.

“There were some concerns he wasn’t growing as he should be,” his mother, Brittany, recalls. “We met with the high-risk pregnancy team the next week to talk about plans.”

Brittany was put on bed rest with pre-eclampsia when her blood pressure became elevated later in her pregnancy.

“There was a huge team of doctors when I delivered,” she said. “They were phenomenal.”

Born early at nearly 33 weeks, Nile was quickly diagnosed with cleft lip and palate, followed by several other serious diagnoses.

He had scoliosis—an abnormal curvature of the spine—and tethered spinal cord, in which the spinal cord attaches to the spinal canal. His right ear was absent and tissue in his left eye was missing, called a coloboma. He also was born deaf.

Brittany notes that Nile’s health conditions were “completely random,” and that blood tests performed after he was born came back normal.

“There were a lot of unknowns, but I just knew we were getting the best care,” she says. “The university is known for amazing care, and we’ve seen it firsthand, but we never thought we would experience it to the extent we did.”

Read Nile’s story here.