Health Care

NICU Graduate: Connor's Story

On Thanksgiving Day in 2019, Jennifer Jontz found out she was pregnant. The news arrived as a miracle because Robert and Jennifer had been unable to have children for years, but soon they would welcome a baby boy named Connor.

Not long after finding out Jennifer was pregnant, doctors diagnosed Connor with Mosaic Trisomy 16, a rare genetic abnormality, and they weren’t sure if he would survive. Jennifer and Robert leaned on each other for support after receiving this devastating news.

“We knew we wanted to do everything possible to give him a chance to thrive. Everyone at AdventHealth during that time was so compassionate, kind and patient with us. The uncertainty of not knowing if your baby would be okay was so scary. I’m especially grateful to Dr. Williams and Dr. Bernstein as well as our nurses Nia, Chelsea, Tori, Jeanina, and Katelyn,” explained Jennifer.

Jennifer, Robert and their doctors were also worried about Connor's weight since the NICU only admits babies that are at least a pound. So the Jontz family and their community prayed over Connor. Jennifer gave birth to Connor on May 29, 2020 who weighed just over a pound.

Jennifer, Robert and Connor

God answered their prayers and provided the growth spurt Connor needed to be admitted into the NICU.

Jennifer shared, “the first time I saw him, I couldn’t hold him because he was so small. After three long days, we finally got to hold him and named him Connor. He is a very opinionated baby, strong, stubborn and curious!”

After 102 days in the NICU, Connor defied all odds again and was stable enough to go home. Jennifer and Robert know they have a long road ahead with monthly surgeries and doctors’ visits, but the new parents were up for the challenge.

Jontz family

The AdventHealth for Children child life, music therapy and volunteer services teams began creating special moments for the parents as soon as baby Connor was born beginning with “Connor's Heartbeat Project.” Connor's heartbeat was recorded and placed inside a stuffed elephant as a legacy piece for his mom and dad.

"Without all the amazing staff members taking care of us and special equipment I really don’t think Connor would be here. He is really our miracle baby. Every dollar and gift impacts patients more than you know. It makes a huge difference not only to the patients but to the families. It can literally change the trajectory of the child’s life and family moving forward. It’s amazing how God has provided for us through all of this. I want people to know that there is hope even when you are going through something difficult.”

AdventHealth For Children's Day of Giving is your chance to help kids, like Connor, battling serious illnesses right here in Central Florida. Tune into iHeartRadio's Magic 107.7 and Rumba 100 on December 13 for stories of hope and healing. Make a gift today to support more families like Connor's this holiday season at Give4KidsToday.com.

connor jontz smiling

Photography provided by Dear Dee Photography.

Recent Blogs

Stephen Wilson in a hospital bed
Blog
Trina Hidalgo Heart Care Center Gives Hope to Heart Patient
a photo of Andrew McPherson
Blog
Volunteer of the Month | Andrew McPherson
Blog
Volunteer of the Month | Dr. Andy Taussig
Maria Rodammer holding a child
Blog
Maria Rodammer Joins Sharing Smiles Board
Blog
Clinical Trial that Helped Lawrence Be Cancer Free
View More Articles