ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- A hospital in Elizabethtown is providing critical care for hundreds of newborns in need, and Kosair Charities has stepped up to make sure it can keep those babies healthy, happy and close to their families.

Elizabeth Waters gave birth to her son, Hudson, two months ago, which was a month earlier than expected. Waters said Hudson weighed about six-and-a-half pounds at birth, then dropped to a little under six pounds, but he has made significant improvements since then.

"He's pretty happy most of the time," Waters said. "He's growing like a weed, which is good."

But wasn't the Waters' first trip to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Hardin County Hospital. Their son, Henry, was there just three years ago.

"We had to deliver both sons one month early," Waters said. "We knew they were going to both need care, but we didn't know what type."

Through the stress of keeping both their baby boys healthy, the Waters' say Hardin County Hospital's NICU made their babies feel at home.

"The NICU was able to provide care that they would've had to go to Louisville or the next best city to get that care," said Waters' husband, Jason. 

It also allowed the family to remain close close to home.

"Being able to stay home was the primary thing for us. That meant the most to us," Jason Waters said. "With Elizabeth still being in the hospital, it allowed us not to separate the family, and we were able to stay together. And she was able to stay with her boys."

With that in mind, Kosair Charities wants continue to help give those babies that opportunity.

"They come into this world with a rough start," said Keith Inman with Kosair Charities. "And we think if we can help them get started, they're going to be on their way to a healthy and productive life.

"Since 2016, we've invested well over $300,000 to this hospital, and this year, we're making an award of $78,000."

That money will be used to buy temperature-controlled beds that monitor oxygen, temperature, heart rate and weight, along with equipment that will give faster and safer respiratory therapy.

Kosair Charities says it plans to continue to help more babies like Hudson and Henry.

"That's the biggest thing, I think: The new donations and the money coming in is going to provide for the future so families can feel like we did," Jason Waters said. 

The Hardin County NICU has received nearly $1 million since it started operating in 2015. 

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