Dr. Sheldon Korones, one of the pioneers of the care of premature babies, has passed away.
Dr. Korones, who died late Tuesday at his home. He was best known for his groundbreaking neonatal research. He directed the Korones Newborn Center at The MED until his retirement in 2005.
The neonatal intensive care unit that bares his name is the oldest of its kind in the United States.
Dr. Reginald Coopwood, President and CEO of The Regional Medical Center, released this statement on the passing of Dr. Korones
"This community has lost a healthcare pioneer in the passing of Dr. Sheldon B. Korones. The staff at Regional Medical Center, along with many others in this community, was saddened to hear of his passing. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and the medical family whose lives he touched. Dr. Korones founded the neonatal intensive care unit at Regional Medical Center in 1968 to improve the health and well-being of our community's tiniest citizens. His impact on this community continues to be felt today, and we are forever appreciative of his work and his contributions to quality of life improvements in newborns."
During the more than 40 years the Korones Newborn Center was established, the man himself did all he could to help the children.
When someone dies, a baby is brought into the world. Given Dr. Korones' passion for infant health it may be exactly what he hoped for when this time came.
"It's really one of those complex things that you're not going to find a solution, turn the key and solve the issue," he said in an interview with FOX13 News.
Dr. Korones had a contagious passion for little ones and finding a solution to rising premature birth rates.
"This is not just a medical problem, it expresses itself medically but it's more a function of lifestyle," he said. "It's more a socioeconomic problem."
His passing Tuesday night leaves the newborn center's halls at The MED a little emptier.
Since Dr. Korones founded the newborn center in 1968, nearly 50,000 preemies have been successfully treated there, some weighing just one pound.
"We had too many customers and we could not go out of business," he said.
The weight of Dr. Korones' impact on premature births and neonatal care cannot be measured.
FOX13 News reporter Sarah Bleau contributed to this report.