North Huntingdon boy serves as inspiration for March of Dimes walk
Timmy Kotch was born five weeks premature with a variety of health issues, including lung problems.
In addition, an ultrasound showed the center portion of his brain, or the corpus callosum, was missing, as was his pituitary gland, responsible for creating hormones.
His current condition has stunned doctors.
“With everything the doctors told us about him, he's a miracle baby,” his mother, Staci, said. “His doctors always said he's a train wreck on paper, but you see him, and he's an everyday, average kid.”
Now, Timmy Kotch will spend his second birthday serving as the ambassador for the 2013 March of Dimes Westmoreland March for Babies Walk on April 28 at Lynch Field in Greensburg.
Timmy and his parents, Staci and Tim Kotch, hope his story will inspire others to support the March of Dimes.
About 500 people attend the Westmoreland March for Babies Walk, according to Jessica Szramowski, the organization's Westmoreland County community coordinator. Last year, it raised $95,000 for research and programming to prevent prematurity and birth defects, and to give support to families, she said.
Each year, the March of Dimes appoints an ambassador who has been affected by a premature birth, birth defects, or a family which has experienced the loss of a child, Szramowski said.
“The Kotch family has been involved with March of Dimes for many years,” Szramowski said. “The story of the struggles they've gone though is a good reminder of why we need to fund research — so other families won't have to go through this.”
After he was born, doctors noticed Timmy had difficulty breathing. They transferred him to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh. Doctors treated him for underdeveloped lungs, Staci said.
Timmy came home after 56 days in intensive care, Staci said.
Timmy receives medicine every eight hours to regulate his body's hormones, and he undergoes speech and other physical therapies each week, Staci said.
But to look at Timmy, “You'd never know anything was wrong,” Staci said.
Timmy's birth wasn't the first time the Kotch family has faced birth complications.
The Kotches' oldest daughter, Brookleyn, was born 10 weeks premature, and their second daughter, Lillian, died after she was born. Their next daughter, Marlee, was born healthy.
Staci credits the March of Dimes' funding and research for the health of her children.
“Many people think the March of Dimes is only there to help premature babies, but they have their hands in all of the testing and medicine,” Staci said. “If you have children, this organization touches your life, without any question.
“Even if you have perfectly healthy children, they should be the reason you get involved.”
Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers notebook: No decision on surgery for rookie CB Golson
- Pitt’s Boyd, Blair suspended for Youngstown State game
- Authorities identify 2 men killed in fiery crash in Pittsburgh
- Pirates pitcher Burnett could return in 4 weeks
- Pennsylvania’s Class AAAA Basketball Player of the Year commits to Penn State
- British police force under investigation amid child sex abuse claims against ex-PM
- New interim director to take over VA regional office in Pittsburgh
- Slot cornerback Boykin should give Steelers options in secondary
- Large crowd mourns Kittanning woman allegedly killed by escapee
- Pirates send Decker to Indy to clear roster space for Morse
- City Council approves ordinance requiring paid sick leave