Boy born prematurely plans to pursue medical career after inspiring dad to become a NICU nurse

A 6-year-old whose life was saved by March of Dimes-funded research wants to grow up to be a nurse like his dad, who went into medicine after watching his son fight for his life.

Like most little boys, John-Luke enjoys playing at the park 

"I like playing in the playground, with my brother and my sister," said John-Luke.  

He has big plans when he grows up.

"Be a nurse like my dad," he said.  

But John-Luke almost didn't get a chance to grow up. 

His mother, Nicole Ferrante, had to go on bed rest while she was pregnant and then there were complications. 

"I had a placental abruption at 23 weeks gestation and he only weighed one pound and 13 ounces when he was born. He spent four-and-a-half months in the NICU," Ferrante explained.  

Doctors didn't know how long John-Luke would survive. 

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"We ended up with doctors telling us that he wouldn't make it through the night and to say our goodbyes. It was, it's hard to hear that, you know, as a mom," Ferrante shared. 

John-Luke's dad says they owe a debt of gratitude to the March of Dimes, which provided the research for surfactant a fluid that help develop the lungs of preemies. 

"Without the help of March of Dimes, you know, providing all the tests, the research that provided all the tests, I don't think we would have been able to be where we're at the level of care that we're able to give in the NICU," Aaron Visnovec, John-Luke's Father said.  

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Visnovec was so moved by all the help they received, he decided to become a NICU nurse at Tampa General Hospital. 

"It definitely has a very special meaning for me. I'm able to help people in the same NICU that helped my baby live and help parents go through similar experiences that I went through and help them get through an extremely hard time," Visnovec stated. 

Those hard times are now getting easier thanks to the March of Dimes.