Thomas Clark King was born 15 weeks early on July 26 1994. Our "25 Weeker" weighed only 1 lb 10 oz and was 13 inches long.
The first version of "The CyberNursery" was coded by hand and placed on the Web with a house theme including a "Hallway" with pictures, a "Living Room" with a guest book, A "Library" with links to preemie resources, and the "CyberNursery" with Thomas' status and his story. Elements of this theme persist throughout until this day (note that the HTML file for this page is "livingrm.htm" following that history)
The CyberNursery really took off when it became the first preemie site listed on "Yahoo!" — which was the most popular Web directory of the time. Further recognition came from "Lycos," another popular site of the time which listed our site as one of the "Top 5%" websites on the Internet.
The notoriety of The CyberNursery came with a responsibility to the preemie parent community. Thomas' father became involved with chat, email and web based support groups and resource sites — extending the reach from our notoriety to other properties that would ultimately eclipse The CyberNursery as the top reasources for preemie parents on the Web. Some of these, like Preemie-L and Prematurity.org still offer support to this day.
Thomas' story was included in the book "Living Miracles: Stories of Hope from Parents of Premature Babies" by Kimberly Powell and Kim Wilson. The book is described as "Twenty-two engrossing stories of babies born prematurely, written by those who felt the agony and the elation the most — their parents." While now out of print, used copies can still be found on the Internet.
A page was added to Thomas' story which had been previously considered completed with "Epilogue" in 1997. The key message to preemie parents was "We have been where you are now, yet we have moved on."
Thomas' school years were a fun time full of school, scouting, sports, church, and family activities. The site was updated periodically to include new pictures — and for many years had a daily "Message from Thomas" on the homepage.
The site was updated at various times over these years, however, a lot of legacy Web features and code remained. During that time we added "Preemie Web" for search relavance — and later, dropped the "CyberNursery" from the name as it was no longer a fit for a growing young man.
Thomas started Middle School in Michigan in 2006 and picked up an interest in the Trumpet. He finished Middle School in 2009 in North Carolina, after a family move in 2008.
He started High School in 2009 where he was an enthusiastic member of the band in addition to continuing with scouts and excelling in school.
Thomas was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout by the Boy Scouts of America in 2012. His Eagle project was a kennel for the SPCIA for which we had a cement slab poured, built two custom kennels, and provided a supply of food and shelter for animals that would use these kennels as temporary homes.
Class of 2013
Thomas' had an outstanding high school career. He was a member of the National Honor Society and a leader in an award winning marching band.
After high school, Thomas entered college where he continues to be successful.
For the first time ever, Tommy's Preemie Web was completely rebuilt in 2017. This update removed legacy code, and made the site mobile friendly — important as all indications are that most of the new traffic comes from mobile devices. References to our history remain — as does the preemie story and pictures that so many have gained comfort from over the years. Gone are old time features like a links pages and 3D picture cubes and such.
Thomas' current focus is his studies as a college student with plans to eventually go to graduate school. We are very excited to see what the future holds for our former preemie who has turned into so much more than we were sure could ever happen.
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