After loss of his daughter, father becomes ironman, raises thousands for CHOP

Michael Diamondstein realized Ironman races helped him cope with losing his 2-week-old Emma

Kristen Johanson
August 26, 2018 - 1:25 pm
Eleven years ago, Michael Diamondstein's daughter, Emma, died of necrotizing enterocolitis, just two weeks after she was born.

Michael Diamondstein

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — After suffering the devastating loss of his daughter, a prominent Philadelphia attorney is channeling his pain into a cause.

Eleven years ago, Michael Diamondstein's daughter, Emma, died of necrotizing enterocolitis, just two weeks after she was born.

"Her intestines didn't properly form, and as a result of being fed, you get a little infection," he explained of the disease, which ultimately destroys the interior wall of the intestine in premature infants. "The infection led to a perforation."

Emma was rushed to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

"They did the best they could, but unfortunately, she passed away before the surgery."

Diamondstein, a Philadelphia-based criminal defense attorney, will now race the Ironman Wisconsin, a triathlon in Madison, Wis., in an effort to raise money for CHOP.

The funds specifically go toward a research project that will examine how antibiotics may play a roll in necrotizing enterocolitis among pre-term infants. 

Ahead of his Sept. 9 race, Diamondstein has already raised more than $22,000 for CHOP.

"I can't buy her any gifts. I couldn't give her any birthday presents. I can't put my arm around her and tell her I love her and give her guidance, so at least I can do something for her," he said. "If I can help one person avoid this, one parent that doesn't have to hold their child and watch their child draw their last breath, then I guess I've done something good."