When Christian and Kane McCann went home from the hospital, their parents got a parting word from the team of doctors who cared for the twins.
“They will never remember this,’’ the doctors said, “and you will never forget it.’’ They were right about that.
The McCann boys were born 10 weeks early, barely three pounds each, and were confined to Vanderbilt University’s neonatal intensive care unit for the first seven weeks of their lives. Their parents hovered over the newborns, praying that one day they would come home together, as a family.
Days stretched into weeks with their parents almost always nearby, listening to the medical equipment, smelling the medicinal odors of the hospital. It was a draining experience but one day, the boys were strong enough to be released.
Now Christian and Kane are happy three-year-old toddlers and their parents are grateful for modern medicine that got them through the difficult start of their lives. And so James McCann, the Mets catcher, and his wife, Jessica, are dedicated to giving thanks.
That’s why they reach out frequently on special occasions like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and other holidays to donate gift cards and baskets of food to local children’s hospitals. With McCann playing for the Mets, they reached out this month to the Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park. The facility carries the name of Mets owner Steve Cohen, who, with his wife, Alex, contributed $50 million to fund an expansion of the hospital.
The McCann’ know firsthand the anguish of watching newborns battle to survive. They are eternally grateful that Kane and Christian made it and will always remember that grueling seven-week odyssey in Vanderbilt’s neonatal, intensive care unit. So they try to do their part to make the journey easier for the next set of parents facing it.
Father’s Day is next month. It is marked on James and Jessica McCann’s calendar and on the ones at Cohen Children’s Hospital, as well.