6-year-old boy makes pillows for sick kids in hospital

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Six-year-old Preston Kupper is just like most boys. He loves dinosaurs and race cars. But how many boys have a love for pillows?

This story really begins six years ago when Preston was just a baby.

Just months after coming into this world, Preston started to get sick. His mother, Laura, started worrying. “He couldn't even sit up in his crib. His chest was caving in with every breath he was taking."

That’s when Kupper knew something serious was happening.

She rushed her baby boy to the ER at Banner Thunderbird. 

"I blinked my eyes and all of the sudden he has tubes and monitors and IVs and everything just coming out of my 9-month-old son," Kupper remembers.

Preston had a severe case of bronchitis.

It was so severe, in fact, that Preston went on life support. "I just remember bawling as I'm walking in and the nurses just sat me down and said he's going to be fine," Kupper describes the day to 3TV’s Brandon Lee.

As the team of nurses in the PICU worked to save little Preston’s life, a family friend who was battling Parkinson’s made a pillow for Preston to comfort him in the ER.

Preston held onto that pillow as he fought for his life, surgery after surgery.

Fast forward six years and Preston’s playroom at his grandmother’s home looks more like a fabric store.

The room is full of fabric with designs of characters from Star Wars, Spiderman, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Preston, along with his mom and grandma, is paying it forward by sewing their way into the hearts of sick children fighting for their lives.

Preston says he enjoys creating the artsy and comfy pillow, "… because we make them for children in the hospital that are sick."

These Pillows by Preston are a huge hit with the nursing staff, too. PICU nurse Rachael Neely remembers when Preston was admitted to the hospital at 9 months old, and her face lights up when he comes back with a pillow delivery because she says these pillows brighten the day of sick patients, “It’s hard to see your child on a ventilator, but when you see some color and some brightness and a character that some child loves it makes it a little easier for the families.”

People from all over the country have requested a Pillow by Preston.

Preston’s mom says they have no plans to put the sewing machine away,

“Making these pillows it’s just something to give back. We went through something no one could even fathom. I don’t want anyone to have to go through that, but at the same time whether you’re going through a medical event at the hospital or even being sick at home chronically ill, no one understands what you're going through and to give someone this little piece of comfort that the whole mission of this.”

For information, visit http://www.pillowsfrompreston.org/index.html.

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