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The Pattyn Project tackled our second room today with a long list of firsts. Baby Sylar was our first male, baby, and NICU patient! In an instant, he stole our hearts with his cheerful demeanor, vibrant personality, and endless smiles. Sylar showed his strong will from day one. Like a true over achiever, he arrived 6 weeks early. Shortly after, he was transferred to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC so he could start gaining strength and undergo planned surgery to address his diaphragmatic hernia. Since his arrival in July, Sylar has been making great progress and hopes to transfer to the Children’s Home soon.

After meeting Sylar and his lovely parents, we knew quickly the room would be a zoo theme as they described his love for bright colors and animals.  We appealed to Sylar’s love for sensory exploring by bringing in play mats, light up musical toys, and touch and feel books filled with shapes, colors and animals.  We brightened up his surroundings with colorful artwork to draw his attention, including a “branch” filled with water color leaves, a paper chain monkey, a hand print parrot, and several elephants. Sylar also received blankets, a giraffe bath towel, zoo animal socks, and other decorative items. Our personal favorite piece was a giraffe bedside lamp that we all agreed brought a bit of a sense of home to accompany all the love in Sylar’s room.

We are so grateful to Sylar and his family for letting us share in their journey and for the opportunity to help them reclaim their space. Planning for our first baby room and trying to create a true feeling of a nursery for Sylar and his family was both enjoyable and very rewarding. We trust that all of his new toys will not only bring joy, but will also encourage developmental play. Sylar’s parents were especially excited to show his physical therapists his new play mats which they can use as they help Sylar work towards his goals.

We wish Sylar the best of luck in these upcoming months as he continues to show incredible strength and make strides towards going home. Thank you to everyone who has shown us ongoing support, as well as new friends who have come alongside of us, as we pursue this passion. We couldn’t do it without you! We hope you all will continue to consider donating to this special cause, so we can continue to lift the spirits of young fighters like Sylar. We ask that you all keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers during the remainder of his stay in the hospital, as we hope for persistent progress, and eventual transfer home. Thank You Sylar!