Soldier father meets newborn son in NICU after 7600 miles, 30 hours of travel

newborn Micah
Sgt. Tony Knizel and Micah. Via- UAB News.

Most any parent would travel from the ends of the earth for their children. Recently one Alabama man did just that. Tech.Sgt.Tony Knizel traveled 7,600 miles, across 11 time zones, for 30 straight hours; Kuwait to Dubai, Amsterdam, Detroit, Atlanta and Montgomery, to be meet his newborn son, Micah.

On Dec. 22, 2017, Michael “Micah” Knizel was born at 37 weeks’ gestation. His father, Sgt. Tony Knizel, a member of the 908th Security Forces Squadron at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, was stationed in Kuwait when his second son was delivered.

Knizel had been in Kuwait for six months, and participated in the delivery via the video capabilities of Facebook Messenger.

Micah Knizel Soldier father meets newborn son in NICU after 7600 miles, 30 hours of travel
Baby Micah Knizel. Via Facebook.

Micah began to have breathing difficulties after about 10 days at home. Mom, Brittany video chatted with dad, Sgt. Knizel about her concerns. After consulting with Micah’s aunt, a nurse practitioner, she rushed Micah back to the hospital.

“When I left Kuwait, his vital signs were not great, and his stats were low,” Knizel said. “Knowing that the situation was out of my control was very trying. I had limited, if any, access to Wi-Fi and was fairly unsure about Micah’s condition until I landed in America. That was a tremendously stressful trip home.” Sgt. Tony Knizel.

Micah was admitted to UAB’s Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where he was diagnosed with RSV, respiratory syncytial virus and placed on a CPAP machine. After seven days in the RNICU, Micah was discharged to return home with his family.

The Knizels and Micah. Via Facebook.

We’ve had Micah home from the hospital for two weeks now and he is doing great. Gabe loves his baby brother. Every day when we pick up Gabe from daycare with the baby, Gabe runs over and points at him and says BABY!! Mom, Brittany Knizel.

Gabriel and newborn Micah
Gabriel, 2, and Micah Knizel. Via Facebook.

Knizel’s deployment just ended. His unit returned home just yesterday, Jan. 24. But he will be going back to Montgomery as a reservist and a deputy paramedic for Tuscaloosa County.

We send our very best wishes to the Knizel family, Tony, mom Brittany and 2 year old big brother Gabriel, and of course baby Micah.

Thank you for your service Sgt. Knizel.


Cameron Balentine
Cameron Balentine
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