Where do I begin? After the boys were discharged, I started on a relentless mission to educate myself and empower other moms to embrace the notion of family-based care. I began collecting baskets for families and filled them with comfort items, gift cards for gas and coffee as well as personalized crocheted hats and blankets. Somewhere deep inside, it stung that I did not have much control over my own babies clothing so having hats and blankets around was comforting for other families as well.
I still felt an ache that I could not describe and yearned to find a way to improve the bond that I so desperately felt was damaged by having to leave them every night in the NICU while they learned to eat and regulate their temperature. I stumbled upon Angel Eye Cameras, equipment that connects to the incubator and allows parents to access their baby remotely 24/7. THIS WAS IT!
I threw myself into fundraising and started a non-profit, The Superhero Project. In six short months, I raised over $15,000. We made a donation to Holy Redeemer Hospital to assist in the purchase and the cameras are scheduled to go live soon. The positive feedback from the community has been astounding. I can promise you that these cameras are going to bring families closer to their infant, increase bonding opportunities and hopefully alleviate the stress that comes along with having to leave a premature infant in a hospital.
Our current project is designing a room for families who are experiencing infant loss. The room will have many of the comforts of a home nursery as well as memory making opportunities that are often forgotten in times of stress: a washing station, a beautiful bookshelf, a camera with flash drives readily available as well as beautiful handmade gowns for the babies. In addition, the purchase of a Cuddle Cot will also add comfort and allow more time for the families to love their baby. Our room will be called, “The Gift of Time Suite.”
I have learned so much about myself this year. More importantly, I have grown to understand the power of giving and the kindness of strangers does live on in our society. My superheroes have led me on a path in life I never knew existed. Someday, I will get to share this amazing journey with them. Until then, I will press on.
Editor’s Note: Check out The Superhero Project!
Photo Credits: Gallagher Family
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