SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — At 22-week-old, when Leni Sinapata was born, his mother was almost certain she was going to lose him. But she didn’t, and now the Sinapata family is giving back to the NICU families with help from students at Elk Grove High School.
Leni has been called a miracle and a warrior, but he is proof that real superheroes live in the hearts of small children fighting big battles.
“A lot of people doubted my son. And our team supported us and believed in us and we believed in God and kept pushing through. And now, my son is a walking testimony,” said Chastity Sinapata, Leni’s mother.
Leni was born at just 22-weeks at home and was rushed to Sutter Medical Center where he went on to spend his first 100 days of life.
The boy who once fit in the palm of his mother’s hand, weighing only one pound, four ounces, is now a happy and healthy 18-month-old.
He has a big personality and a real love for the ladies, Chastity said, “He’s super hyper and super active and loves people and is super friendly and is a people’s person.”
As a way to give back to the hospital, Leni’s family along with Elk Grove High School students delivered dozens of hand-made blankets to other families with babies in the NICU.
The gesture is a way to pay support and kindness forward as families face an uncertain future.
“You can see the smile on Chastity’s face and how much it means to her to give that back because she received a lot when she was here too,” said NICU Nursing Director Christi Walsh.
The warm wishes for health and wellness are wrapped with hope and comfort.
Colleen Lawson is a teacher at Elk Grove High School and helps lead the blanket project.
“To see this come full circle, [Leni] at 18 months today, almost, walking, playing with blankets… is really what this project is all about,” Lawson said.
Sutter Medical Center has the largest NICU unit in Northern California with 61 beds. Doctors there deliver 6,000 babies a year.