“He has bounced back like a boss baby”

Patient Stories |



Eighteen-month-old Collin Cheramie is all giggles and grins after a life-threatening case of pneumonia.

By Maureen Gilmer, IU Health senior writer, mgilmer1@iuhealth.org

Collin Cheramie took his first ride in a helicopter recently, and while he won’t remember it, his parents surely will.

The 18-month-old was flown to Indianapolis from Bloomington by IU Health LifeLine after becoming seriously ill with pneumonia.

“It was scary. It happened so fast,” said his mom, Joy Cheramie, who spent several days with her son at Riley Hospital for Children. She and her husband, Joshua, live in Freedom, Indiana, along with Collin and his 7-year-old brother.

You wouldn’t know anything was wrong with Collin, a happy, social little guy who charms the nurses and visitors with his wide grin and joyful chatter.

But he’d already been at Riley for a week by then, long enough for doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists to work their magic and get him breathing well again.

“He has bounced back like a boss baby,” his mom said.

Collin was diagnosed with Down syndrome in utero, news that shook Cheramie at the time.

But once she had time to process the news, she was ready to embrace the joy that only her boy can bring.

After he was born at IU Health Bloomington Hospital in 2021, Collin was in the NICU for three weeks and required oxygen for three months when he went home.

Because of that, colds and viruses can be a little tricky. So when her son’s mild cold symptoms on a weekend in late March took a turn for the worse and he was having trouble breathing, Cheramie rushed him to his Riley pediatrician, Dr. Jason Simmonds, in Ellettsville, Indiana.

Dr. Simmonds arranged for him to be transferred via ambulance to Bloomington before being airlifted to Indianapolis, where he recovered after a week of treatment.

Collin is home now and back in daycare, so his mom was able to return to her job helping people with disabilities.

“He is doing awesome! There are no words to say how grateful we are to Riley.”

Related Doctor

Jason H. Simmonds, MD

Jason H. Simmonds, MD