Parker Knoll


“At their 17-week appointment, Mike and Abby Knoll were overjoyed to learn they were going to have another little boy. What they didn't expect, however, was their baby’s life-changing diagnosis of left-sided congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). The son they were expecting, soon to be named Parker, would have only a 50-50 chance of survival. After researching CDH and medical centers that specialize in treating it, the Knolls were comforted to learn they had an acclaimed medical team in their hometown. Children's Healthcare of Atlanta was well equipped to handle Parker's care. Within weeks, the Knolls arrived at Egleston hospital to take a tour of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where they would spend three months. Abby will never forget being introduced to each staff member and being told, "We've got it from here," as they were given the opportunity to see, first-hand, the lifesaving medical equipment that would help sustain Parker during his stay. Parker was born on May 18, 2012. Within minutes, he was immediately transported to the NICU at Egleston. For 10 days, he was placed on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a form of life support. After being removed from ECMO, Parker was finally stable enough to undergo the surgery to repair his diaphragm. Three weeks after he was born, his parents were able to hold him for the very first time. After 90 long days in the NICU, and many tough battles, Parker finally was able to go home in August. Parker is now thriving, with no lingering effects from his shaky start except for some pretty cool scars on his neck and chest. The Knolls are happy to have Parker at home with his big brother Jeremiah.  "There's really no way to put into words what CHOA means to us. They saved our baby, but they also saved our whole family. Doctors, nurses, child life specialists, all down to the custodial staff and parking attendants, went above and beyond to make a nightmare time of our lives so much easier. We are forever changed, and we are forever grateful."