Editor’s Note: This occasional blog series features stories of CHOP research heroes who have participated in clinical research studies. Without the generosity and dedication of families, patients, and members of the public who take the time to be a part of research, many trials would not succeed.
Meet Clay Maresca: The happy, healthy 2 ½-year-old loves to wear hats (which mom, Amy, loves to buy for him), play with balls, and has a throwing arm so strong it surprises everyone he meets.
But Clay didn’t begin life with the physical strength he wows people with today. When he was just a 25-weeks-and-3-day-old fetus, Amy’s uterus ruptured, and she and her husband, Rob, were faced with the possibility that Clay would be born premature. Placed in a frightening situation, Amy and Rob decided to transfer to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Newborn Care at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. They wanted to take advantage of CHOP’s rich research background – faced with the potential that their baby would need special care and attention.