August is here, and we’re sliding into the last month of summer with our green shades on! There’s still time to participate in #FutureSoBright, our fun, interactive campaign to raise awareness of the amazing and bright futures NICU babies and NICU families have.
Give today at handtohold.org/futuresobright.
Today we’re sharing some of the stories we’ve received from parents, #FutureSoBright supporters, and our own Hand to Hold staff on why having support in the NICU and beyond has had such an impact on them.
“Gracelyn weighed just 1lb. 10oz. and spent 71 days in the NICU. While in the NICU, she had two blood transfusions and retinopathy among other issues. Shortly before Gracelyn came home, she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and the discussion began that she may not walk or she would have delayed development in her gross and fine motor skills. Today she is a beautiful, bright 3 year old!” – Jeff R., Hand to Hold peer mentor, Norman, OK
“My daughter, Evalyn, was born at 38 weeks and only 4 pounds. We had found out during my pregnancy that Evalyn had a serious Congenital Heart Defect, and at birth she experienced respiratory distress and other complications.
Because of these issues, Evalyn was hospitalized for over 9 weeks. Her first 66 days of life were spent between the NICU, CICU (Cardiac Intensive Care Unit), and Cardiac Unit. It was a scary and uncertain time.
Now 7 and a half years later, Evalyn is doing very well. Our cardiac journey is not over, but things are stable for now. Evalyn does have some special needs caused from her medical issues and complications. Despite her challenges, she is smart, sassy and beautiful, and her future is so bright!
We recently donated to Hand to Hold in support of their summer campaign, #FutureSoBright. Hand to Hold believes all NICU babies deserve a bright future and all NICU families deserve the proper supports.” – Mia C., Bucks County, PA
“Charlie was my full term baby after our big girl was born at 32 weeks. Thanks to the support I received from Hand to Hold, I was able to imagine a #FutureSoBright for my preemie and for a family that included more children.
Having a community to connect with was vital as we made the decision to get pregnant again and as I worked through the anxiety of a subsequent pregnancy after having an emergency c-section and NICU stay with my first. But I always knew that I was not alone and I have my community to support me as my journey as a NICU mom continues.” – Sara S., Hand to Hold Volunteer Coordinator, Austin, TX
“This is our very healthy 8 year old son. Looking at him now you would never believe he was born at 23 weeks and 1 day. He was 1lb 5 Oz. We spent 137 days in the NICU. As part of our journey we kept a blog and have left it up and public for other families to read as they battle through their NICU journey.” – Julia W., Austin, TX
“Rachel and Claire were born nine weeks early and spent the first five weeks of their life in the NICU. Lucky for us they mainly needed to grow, but to say the NICU and their prematurity hasn’t had a lasting impact on us all would not be true. I had a great support system when my girls were babies in the form of my moms of multiples club (since there were many NICU moms there). It wasn’t until my girls were around age seven that I realized they were still struggling – and so was I – with the lasting effects of prematurity.
Despite their challenges, these girls have some bright futures. Rachel (left) wants to be a comic book author/illustrator and/or video game designer. Claire wants to be a chiropterologist (a scientist who studies bats). All NICU grads deserve to have the brightest of futures.” – Leigh Ann T., Hand to Hold Managing Editor, Austin, TX
Here are just a few more of our #FutureSoBright supporters!