While the world prepares for a beautiful moment with their baby on their first Christmas, many parents celebrate in a different way. On this day 155 babies in the NICU in two hospitals are celebrating their first Christmas in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) because they were born too early. It is a difficult time when as a parent you are told that your baby will not be going home with you for Christmas. This is why The Gift of Life started this tradition of delivering cookies when founders Rosie and Marcus had their baby in the NICU. Through the years they started deliveiring hats and love bears that were made by the senior citizens at the Good Samaritan Village. This year they had two additional outside volunteers in the community that made bears. Thanks to these two ladies and the seniors from Good Samaritan Villahge, 155 babies in two hospitals received love bears and red hats for Christmas.
Founders Rosie and Marcus Moore along with miracle Kaleb and board member Anitra Manning delivered the hats and bears one by one to all the babies at FL Hospital with child life specialist Summer.
Winnie Palmer Hospital received their hats and bears in the volunteer office on the same day to distribute to their babies in the NICU.
Zakk Slater radio personality from K92.3 shares his story about Baby Olivia who was born prematurely. He joins The Gift of Life in supporting World Prematurity Day by asking his listeners to wear purple to help raise awareness for premature birth.
1 in 10 babies is born prematurely according to the March of Dimes statistics. The Gift of Life provides emotional support during the crisis that the parents are enduring while they are in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Being in the NICU as a parent is a stressful time and having parent mentors to give you encouragement during that time is one of the services that the Gift of Life offers to families. This is why it is important to recognize premature birth on November 17 by wearing purple and making donations. Not everyone knows what it is like to endure premature birth, but imagine this…..having a baby so small that he fits in the palm of your hand, being born 13 weeks early, and weighing 1lb and 10oz. That is the story of Rosie and Marcus Moore founders for The Gift of Life, but this is not just their story; many others endure this crisis.
It’s #GivingTuesday – a day to give to your charity of choice and to share stories about how the charity helped you or a loved one! Will you join by making a contribution to help our families of premature babies receive hope, encouragement and support while they are in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit?
Since The Gift of Life was founded in 2012, we have delivered over 400 Knit Bears made by senior citizens to our local hospital during the Christmas season to spread cheer during the Christmas season. We have shipped bears out-of-state to other families as they hear about what we do, this can only be done through supporters like you.
Thank you for choosing to support our families. Your donations will help families like the Lonas Family who received a Christmas Bear :
“The next few weeks were the hardest times I have ever experienced. I felt helpless and heartbroken. I was told the NICU stay would be a roller coaster of events and emotions and that’s exactly what it was. We went through 2 types of ventilators, 3 intubations, infections, medications, complications and happy milestones. Every ounce counted and I was ready to see him pack on the pounds and thrive for life. It was a long road but that’s exactly what Jameson did. He has taught me all about strength and faith and a lot about having patience. We are truly blessed with how well Jameson did and still continues to do as a micro preemie. The odds were stacked against him and he pushed through. After 143 days in the hospital we brought our sweet boy home on December 23rd. Just in time for Christmas. The best Christmas present ever. He came home with his teddy bear from The Gift of Life, made with love by the seniors citizens at Good Samaritan Village.”
Today is November 17, 2015, World Prematurity Day. It is the day that is selected to raise awareness about the number 1 killer of infants. According to the World Health Organization in the United States alone, 517, 400 premature births occur every year. Besides maternal illness or high blood pressure, diabetes, sometimes it is unknown why babies are born prematurely.
Visit their website for more information: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs363/en/
The Gift of Life was founded by Rosie and Marcus Moore after having a premature baby of their own. Kaleb was born at 1lb and 10 oz. He was born at 27 weeks and was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for 5 months. What parents Rosie and Marcus did not know, was that besides Rosie being in danger due to the stroke level blood pressure she had and Kaleb suffering internally if he was not taken out, both of them could have died.
Two doctors worked together to save both their lives, Dr Walker( OB) and Dr Bernstein( neonatologist). After the delivery when Kaleb came home, she took him to her OB appt, to show Dr Walker how he was doing. She was told Dr Walker was no longer there and he no longer was doing obstetrics. Rosie thought that was odd, but did not think of anything of it. This year when Rosie went to her yearly check up, another doctor was there of the seven they had. He asked about the pregnancy and when he asked about Kaleb and she shared his age and weight, the doctor said, “you are the one.” Rosie Moore asked what was he speaking of. He stated that Dr Walker left right after Kaleb was born because of the overwhelming emergency of the delivery. One can only imagine the emotions going through his mind.
What Dr Walker may not have known, is that on October 13, 2009, he saved two lives of a mother and son. He may have joked with Rosie telling her when they met the day before at the hospital, that one deceleration( an episode when the baby’s heart rate drops) and he was out, because this kid was going to Harvard. Rosie remembers that day and laughs today saying, ” I should have gotten that in writing.” Regardless, that quiet morning while she slept, Kaleb got in trouble, his breathing decreased and he had to come out. It was like a movie in the ER, doors flying open, codes being called, doctors on standby, nurses rushing. But within 15 minutes, baby Kaleb was out. Not the typical way a parent expects a child by emergency crash c-section.
Today, on World Prematurity Day, there is someone who you may know that is premature or had a baby that was. Help The Gift of Life raise awareness about premature births. Having a baby should be a normal process, but for some, it is not. Let’s band together as a community world-wide and give support to these parents who are having babies before time. These babies and parents did not ask for their baby to come early, so while this happens, lend emotional and financial support.
Premature babies can be our future doctors, nurses, pharmacists, lawyers, teachers, engineers, actors dancers, mothers , fathers, and any profession they choose. Someone gave them a chance, will you? Visit our website to see how you can become involved www.thegiftoflife27.org