Meet Quincy

Meet Quincy

Oklahoma City couple make $1.5M gift honoring life-saving care given to their one-pound baby, now a thriving 18-year-old student and volunteer

Quincy Le Norman Nutrition Center to give fragile infants a fighting chance. Dad urges others to find their passion and find a way to give back in a way that pays care forward.

When Quincy Le Norman was born, she arrived 16 weeks early and weighed just one pound, 10 ounces. Quincy’s doctors gave her only a 10 percent chance of survival. If she managed to survive, they cast doubt on her ability to ever walk or talk.

The experience of hearing that news and long hours of waiting are still vivid in her mother’s mind.

“That was a very traumatic experience, knowing your child is fighting for her life,” said Cory Le Norman, who held vigil with her daughter at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital OU Health.

Le Norman had no friends or family who’d given birth to a premature baby, much less a “micro-preemie” like Quincy, so she drew reassurance from the nurses who cared for her daughter around the clock. But Quincy continued to lose weight as she battled in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, dropping as low as one pound before rallying back.

After 88 days, Quincy was released and, with continued loving care, went on to enjoy a normal childhood. Now 18, she is a strong academic performer, competes in a variety of sports and has provided more than 450 hours of volunteer work for non-profits – including participation on the Children’s Hospital Foundation Teen Board. None of the grave precautions came to pass, but Cory Le Norman never forgot Quincy’s nurses, especially Jamie Kilpatrick.

“All the nurses were like family,” she said, “but Jamie was the ringleader, and we firmly believe we wouldn't have Quincy if not for her dedication.”

Cory and her husband, David, have deepened their connection to Oklahoma Children’s and to Kilpatrick, who now serves as director of the hospital’s NICU.

Kilpatrick knew about the Le Normans’ interest in giving back to the hospital and, eventually, found the perfect fit. The Le Normans recently made a $1.5 million gift to the OU Foundation to establish the Quincy Le Norman Nutrition Center.

Premature infants and micro-preemies depend upon nutritionally fortified breast milk because their bodies are too small to metabolize the needed volume of natural breast milk, Kilpatrick says. Nurses have been supplementing breast milk for years, often at bedside or in hospital cafeterias.

Technological advances and best practices have advanced since Quincy’s birth. Hospital accreditation organizations recommend that milk be prepared in an aseptic environment by trained milk technicians so it can be stored and delivered efficiently and safely.

Kilpatrick said the Le Normans’ gift has been especially gratifying.

“When you get to take care of the babies, the little fighters that they are, and watch them grow, that’s the greatest reward,” she said. “It was special to be with Quincy then, and it’s special to be with the Le Norman family now.”

The nutritional center is being built adjacent to the hospital’s NICU and will be operating later this year, said Oklahoma Children’s Hospital President Jon Hayes. Oklahoma Children’s has the only level-three neonatal intensive care unit in Oklahoma and cares for babies from across the state.

“This facility will position Oklahoma Children’s among the region’s leading hospitals because there are no others like it in Oklahoma and these are still relatively new to children’s hospitals in general,” Hayes said.

David said the Quincy Le Norman Nutrition Center is a perfect fit for their family.

“We were very interested in this because we have a personal experience,” he said. “We're hoping this might inspire others who have some sort of personal experience. It may have nothing to do with nutrition or premature babies, but they'll find what they want to give to.”

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Article courtesy of Impact, OU Foundation