Emery Tillberg, 6, son of Erik and Sarah Tillberg of Rock Island, has been named the Iowa Hawkeyes football team’s postseason Honorary Kid Captain. He will be recognized when the men’s basketball team takes on Iowa State on Friday in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Emery was born 15 weeks premature after his mother had been diagnosed with preeclampsia, a condition that occurs when a pregnant woman develops dangerously high blood pressure and protein in the urine. It can be life-threatening to both mother and child and the only cure is to deliver the baby.
He was taken immediately to University of Iowa Children’s Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. His lungs were severely underdeveloped, and he weighed one pound, five ounces. He stayed in intensive care for 225 days.