Hear from Families

Maribel Farish and her son

Photo credit: Farish Family

“Through the last six months since my son’s birth, I have tried to be very strong and have not allowed myself to cry. He needs so much of my time and my strength that I simply had forgotten about myself. The moment you asked me: How are you feeling? It was as if someone had squeezed my eyes! I could not stop crying! I realized that I also need help. In order to help my son, I need to accept help. Thank you for your kind words and your sincere interest in me. I felt very comfortable sharing my feelings with you even though we have not met. God bless you and the organization that you founded.”
Maribel F., parent receiving support from Hand to Hold

“When our family first arrived at the hospital, we were completely overwhelmed by the NICU experience. I was very impressed with our social worker; she gave us some valuable advice, checked in on us and really seemed to care. Our doctors and nurses were top notch as well. Having said that, though, I found myself in desperate need of someone to talk to that had been in my shoes – my fears, my worries, my hopes. It wasn’t until we were transported to another hospital that one of my nurses suggested I read an article in the Statesman about Hand to Hold. I reached out and finally found the mentor I needed. Quite honestly, even though we had a tremendous support network through our neighborhood and church communities, none of that was as valuable, uplifting and life-saving as the peer-to-peer support my husband and I received through H2H. I believe wholeheartedly in its mission. It’s with a thankful heart that I say the progress our family has made this year has been a direct result of our H2H mentor. Our mentorship didn’t end with our NICU stay; it has continued and I find great strength from that relationship as we navigate insurance claims, therapy and specialist appointments and developmental delays…”
Kathryn W., parent receiving support from Hand to Hold

“I am so glad we now have Hand to Hold, a support mechanism that is sorely, sorely needed by families of premature babies. When my son, Parker, was born at 26 weeks of gestation, there was a lot to deal with very quickly – he was in critical condition, and was very touch and go for a while. I was having my own health issues, and I had to think about how to deal with work, health insurance, and how to furnish a nursery after the baby was born. Most of my friends and relatives were sympathetic, but pretty freaked out by the situation, and not much help. The nurses in the NICU were my lifeline at first, but focused of course on the medical issues, and were no longer there when my son left the NICU. And, my husband had an extremely hard time dealing with Parker’s early birth… Hand to Hold provides a service that families of preemies truly need. You need to have a sense that others have made it through this situation, and to be prepared for some of the challenges that you’re going to face after your child leaves the NICU…You need someone to talk to that gets it, and is not so busy having their own emotional reaction to your child’s early birth that they can’t support you. I am proud to be able to help Hand to Hold provide some of this to families that are going through this today.”
Parker’s Mom, Austin mom and Helping Hand Parent Mentor

“With my patients, and in my personal life, I have experienced some of the deep sadness and loss that can accompany preterm birth or other birth complications. Hand to Hold will be such an important tool in assisting families in those vulnerable situations.”
Dr. Felicia Nash, Preemie Mother & Obstetrician/Gynecologist, Women Partners in Health

“I am very excited Hand to Hold came into existence. For all who are involved in making such an important and much needed organization available to families, I bow to you. I hope one day to be a volunteer to help make a difference when my own wounds have healed enough to help others in need.”
Kerry J., Austin mom

“The isolation parents feel in the NICU has a trickle down effect. When parents are not receiving care they have a much harder time caring for their fragile child, to say nothing of healthy siblings. Hand to Hold offers support to improve parents’ ability to cope with emotional, financial and spiritual issues successfully. The negative impact is minimized and that affects the entire community.”
Amy  B., Austin mom and Helping Hand Parent Mentor