One NICU Family Donates to Benefit Others

Tyler and Jessica Hinton with son, Sam
Tyler and Jessica Hinton with son, Sam

The arrival of Samuel “Sam” Hinton on September 19, 2019, was a big surprise to his parents, Tyler and Jessica Hinton. Not that they weren’t expecting him. They just didn’t expect him to arrive quite so soon. Born at Ascension St. Vincent’s Birmingham two months ahead of schedule, Sam spent the first six weeks of his life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

“As with most parents-to-be, a stay in the NICU was never on our radar until it became reality,” said Tyler. “It was obviously a scary experience at first, but the staff quickly put us at ease, and it became our second home that Fall.”

Sam started out in an incubator then spent the last few weeks of his stay in a bassinet. His parents watched in awe as skilled doctors and nurses, combined with the NICU’s state-of-the-art technology, allowed their tiny 3 lb. 11 oz. son to grow healthy and strong.

“Now, at age 4, Sam suffers no long-term effects of having been born prematurely,” his dad said.

In 2022, Tyler served as a Board Fellow at Ascension St. Vincent’s Foundation through the Rotaract Club of Birmingham. Through that process, he learned of a need for more bassinets like the one that had helped Sam during his NICU stay.

“Jess and I felt strongly that we owed Sam’s perfect health to technology like this, so we made the donation to help ensure that other families have the same chance we did for a positive outcome,” said Tyler, who now serves on the Foundation’s Junior Board. “Because we can never fully repay St. Vincent’s for the gift of our healthy, happy family, we’re honored to play a small part in helping continue its mission of care.”

The Hintons live in Mountain Brook with Sam and their dog, Clementine. Jessica started Empress Stationery part-time in 2007 then went full-time in 2013; Tyler came on board in 2018.

“We consider giving as a central pillar of the Empress culture and an important responsibility to the community,” said Tyler. “We believe that with success comes responsibility, and that responsibility includes using whatever resources are at your disposal to help lift others up.”

A donation to Ascension St. Vincent’s Women and Children’s Center can help premature babies thrive. Won’t you consider making one?

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