Meet Our Grand Marshal: Connor Florio, 1 Year Old
Dylan J. Hoffman Memorial Walk and Family Fun Day
Connor Florio defied all odds and proved miracles exist when he was born weighing only 10.9 ounces (310 grams) and measuring only 9 inches long on July 13, 2018 at Westchester Medical Center.
Connor was born prematurely at only 26 weeks gestation, and he is one of the smallest baby boys to ever survive in the United States. After surprising all of the doctors and nurses in the delivery room with his strength and feistiness, he remained in the NICU at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital for five months. There he received respiratory support, medical interventions to keep him stable, nutrition to fuel his growth, and exceptional care from doctors and nurses.
While Connor fought for his life in the NICU, his parents found a home at the Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley. As residents of Connecticut, Connor’s parents would have had to drive an hour each way to visit their son in the NICU. As fragile as Connor was, the thought of being so far away from him at any given moment was terrifying. Luckily, a few days after Connor was born, a spot opened up at the Ronald McDonald House, and Connor’s parents could stay within minutes of him. Aside from providing shelter nearby to the hospital, the Ronald McDonald House provided so much more to the Florio family. Warm meals were offered every night, and on days when there just wasn’t enough time to eat, snacks were available to take on the go. Other services to alleviate stress and bring joy during difficult times, such as visits with therapy dogs, were also provided.
More than that, the atmosphere was so welcoming and homey, that at the end of a long day sitting by an isolette in the NICU, it was a sanctuary where Connor’s parents could take a few moments to relax, recharge, and connect with other families. Connor’s parents are forever indebted to the wonderful staff, donors and volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House. Today, Connor is just as feisty as he was when he was born. He has an infectious smile, and he brings joy with him wherever he goes. He’s still tiny for his age, but what he lacks in size, he makes up for in personality and fortitude.