Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz and his wife, Mary, have made a very generous $1 million donation to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital. The donation will create the 'Savvy Ferentz Program in Neonatal Research' at the hospital. The goal is to improve the survival rate for premature babies.

The Ferentz' donation was made in memory of their granddaughter, Savvy Elizabeth, who passed away after being born at just under 22 weeks of gestation, in August of 2014.

In a release from the University of Iowa, Mary said,

We knew Savvy was born too early. We also knew they do extraordinary things at UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital that would give her a fighting chance. We were thankful we had that.

Iowa’s neonatologists are committed and are already leading the way for these little babies. We so deeply admire and appreciate the people who gave us hope and helped our family so much. This is a way for us to help them help others.”

The Neonatal department is one of the busiest parts of the new hospital. During last week's Radiothon for Children's Miracle Network, there were more than 70 premature babies being treated at the hospital.

The U of I Stead Family Children’s Hospital has a Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the top level designated by the American Academy of Pediatrics. In its latest rankings, U.S. News and World Report ranked the hospital's neonatal program the twentieth best in the United States.

[via University of Iowa]