Couple Celebrates Superhero Day with Baby Clark
Clark Cummings may be the biggest superhero since, well Clark Kent.
“We looked doom in the face, and doom blinked,” says the father of a micro-preemie born at Cone Health Women’s & Children’s Center at Moses Cone Hospital. (A micro-preemie is defined as a newborn weighing less than 1 lb., 12 oz.)
Clark Cummings was born Sept. 8, 2020 – the Tuesday after Labor Day weekend. His parents made the heartbreaking decision to provide in utero hospice care. That means no heroic measures to deliver their baby who had been diagnosed with several challenging conditions and was apparently no longer growing.
The tough decision Blake and Becky Cummings made was because Clark would need oxygen and was probably too small to use the equipment needed to provide it. “But I thought the baby was right on the cusp of our equipment fitting,” Neonatologist Benjamin Rattray recalls. “We definitely had a shot of getting the (breathing) tube in.”
So, he contacted Becky’s OB who scheduled the delivery, sprinkled with a trait every superhero gives – hope.
“He’s literally the reason Clark is alive,” Becky credits Dr. Rattray for Clark’s first breaths on a breathing tube.
The couple originally thought they were expecting a girl and selected the Wonder Woman name of “Diana.” When their little boy arrived, they gladly pivoted their superhero-inspired name to “Clark.”
Their emotions are more powerful than a locomotive. “His life itself is a miracle,” says Becky Cummings. “The fact he’s here.”
“We dodged a lot of bullets,” says Blake Cummings regarding the diagnoses during pregnancy. “We were staring at really bad situations and still overcame.”
Seven-month-old Clark is off oxygen, growing big and strong, hitting milestones and developing well. (No signs of leaping tall buildings in a single bound – yet.)
April 28 is National Superhero Day – now a particularly meaningful celebration for Blake and Becky Cummings and their son, Clark.