A Christmas Miracle Merry Christmas!

It’s been a year since my twin girls were born, and as strangers ask me their age, I hesitate. Do I tell them their real age or adjusted age? Depending on my mood, I often will say, “they are one, but they were born at 28 weeks.”

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That’s usually met with, “little miracles!” or “they look healthy now.”

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Now? That word always bothers me, though I understand where the stranger is coming from, but the term now, takes on a different meaning and feel. My girls were born in late October at 28 weeks, and one NICU nurse told me, that probably would be home by Christmas. While another NICU nurse told me that they’d be home probably by their due date. Yet another nurse said, maybe spring.

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As Thanksgiving came and went, and as Christmas approached, I knew they wouldn’t be home and as I begrudgingly put up a small Christmas tree and felt a twinge of sadness at every happy family going Christmas shopping, I told myself that I was lucky that my girls were ok. I’d witnessed enough so far with other NICU babies, that I felt that even though I wouldn’t have them this Christmas, at least I still had them.

The NICU nurses had a crafty staff, with ornament making, footprint items, Santa hat photos of the girls. As we got ready for the long day we’d be at the NICU, I was mentally preparing myself not to make this a somber moment, next year, I told myself, would be different.

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We arrived at the NICU to sleeping babies, but we had quite the list of to-do’s — bathe the twins, feed them, and kangaroo care. We decided to have our Christmas meal at the hospital, and as we were given free hard as a rock Christmas cookies, I told myself, next year, this will be different.

 

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It never really occurred to me, that besides my somber attitude that was hidden by a smile, that the NICU nurses had to do this every year. My next year would be different, but their next year would be the same – dealing with concerned parents and watching over preemies.

 

While you’re in the NICU with your baby(ies) it’s easy to have tunnel vision. It’s easy to not pay attention to the world outside and though your focus is your babies health, you have to remember that there are other things, bigger things happening around you.

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So, this Christmas my girls are now one, crawling and trying to stand on wobbly legs, I feel blessed at their growth and continually impressed by them. They struggled into this world and now they fight to catch up. The new normal – was a phase that I used a lot when I would see the girls in the NICU, our new normal is constantly changing. My life is busy, chaotic, and sometimes frustrating, but when it comes to Christmas, I always take a moment to think of the NICU nurses. To remind myself, there are bigger things happening, there are people who are in my shoes from last year.

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At Christmas time, it’s a great time to take a step away from yourself and look at the world around you. You don’t need to give money or presents, but simply by giving your time or lending an ear to someone, helps you take a step back and reevaluate your current situation. I’ll never forget the kindness and patience of the NICU nurses and as Christmas approaches I strive to be uplifting to someone who may be stuck in their own tunnel vision or struggling silently.

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Guest Blogger Jen Labriola/Graphic artist for The Gift of Life

Follow author Rosie Moore https://www.facebook.com/author27/

Merry Christmas!

A Touching Story of Gratitude

It isn’t always that one hears about touching stories that happen only in the movies. Today I want to share with you what happened on 8/11/15.
Mayor Gary Bruhn of Windermere scheduled a town council meeting and invited Rosie Moore,  founder of The Gift of Life to do a proclamation of The Gift of Life Day in Windermere on Sept 12 2015. This means that every resident in Windermere should know that on this day there is needed support for parents of premature babies and their babies.  The town of Windermere is invited to the annual gala called A Night at the Tropicana , The Gift of Life Charity Gala,  to raise funds for this worthwhile organization.

As the guests were awaiting the proclamation, at the town council meeting, Rosie was speaking with parent Staci Bradshaw,  long time resident in Windermere and her daughter Olivia, who is 24 years old and a preemie herself, born at 23 weeks , 1lb 7oz. On this day there was a police induction taking place as well after the proclamation. The officer and his family were present.  In speaking with Staci, it was made known to us that the police officer and his wife had a premature baby themselves.    This  is a little bit of history of what happened on  this day before we get in to the touching story.

After the proclamation and the induction, Rosie, Staci, Olivia, Nikki( new preemie mom) and her mother in law were talking and enjoying the miracle of life, their baby boy looking great after being born 2 months early.   Staci shared her daughter’s story. She let us know that Olivia was born at 23 weeks ( 17 weeks early) she was 1lb 7 oz. She shared with  us that the doctors called her on three separate occasions and told her to plan Olivia’s  funeral because she would not make it.  It was no surprise how many times the  hospital would called Staci  to come in asap to the NICU to say their good byes to Olivia.   Staci got to the point where baby Olivia had been poked, prodded, tested, and just plain suffering in pain and could not stand it anymore.  She  requested a meeting with the neonatal team to see what could be done. There were days that Olivia was not even weighed because she dropped below a pound in weight. They all looked at Staci and stated we are doing the best we can but we agree, if she survives, she will be completely disabled and suffer more. Staci decided with the entire team of doctors to disconnect the life support and let Olivia pass on peacefully in to the arms of Jesus.

AT this meeting, one Doctor, stood up, and said, wait. There is a new medication and some new procedures for  preemies that are on double ventilators that have not been tried. Please give me two weeks to be able to try it and if in two weeks she is not improved, we will disconnect the life support. Staci agreed to the treatment and Olivia started improving within a few days, a few weeks later she got  off one ventilator the jet, which is awful because it is a constant vibration to the body and if you are in pain, this can be traumatic. She finally got off the ventilator and was breathing on Cpap and oxygen. This doctor saved Olivia’s life, she was able to come home on oxygen, tube feedings and medications. But she survived. The 24 years was a challenge as Olivia received speech , physical and occupational therapy and multiple doctor’s visits as well as getting through school, but she made it!

Someone gave Olivia a chance. Staci spoke about not having support to get through this other than her mom and her husband. She always said in her heart,  one day I shall have to visit with this doctor, but like all parents of preemies life gets the better of you in busyness.

As Staci was sharing her story, Nikki,’s mother in law asked which Dr was this and which hospital. At the time it was called Arnold Palmer for children and she mentioned the doctor was Dr Linda Slater Myer.   She said “oh my,  she is one of my best friends.” She immediately text her and took a picture to show her . Dr Slater Myer replied back to her and she could not believe it. She dialed her number and gave the phone to Staci, Olivia’s mom to speak. Staci had tears of joy at being able to talk to the woman who saved her daughter’s life. After 24 years to be able to say thank you, what a rewarding thing for Dr Slater Myer and for Staci mother of preemie Olivia. We hope one day that we can continue this story through a reunion. Dr Slater-Myer is now in a hospital in NJ.  Was this a coincidence? I don’t believe so, you see here is another twist.  Founder Rosie Moore of The Gift of Life, was an OB nurse in the high risk unit at a hospital in NJ, but where Dr Slater- Myer currently works, is the hospital where Rosie Moore received her training in Nursing school.

This is a miracle that through an article in the West Orange Times on The Gift of Life, Staci found Rosie Moore, founder for The Gift of Life, and through Rosie she came to the Windermere town meeting for the proclamation and met the friend of the Doctor who saved her daughter’s life.

So today give someone a chance, support a parent of a premature baby, support a baby born too early…there are many Olivia’s in the world, but they don’t always have as happy an ending as this…..step out in faith come out to The Charity Gala on 9/12/15. Buy your tickets here

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Birth Announcement

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The Gift of Life

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Treasured Moments Videography

Rico Michael Jackson Performs at The Gift of Life Charity Event

The Gift of Life was honored to have Rico Michael Jackson at their charity gala last fall.  Rico flew in from Chicago to perform for this gala event and entertain those that united for a single cause, helping families of premature babies.

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“I would like to introduce “Enrico Hampton” known to many as “Rico-Michael Jackson” world’s most exciting Michael Jackson Tribute artist. His life as an entertainer has been event filled, performing for various community events, schools, churches, and charities. Rico’s breath taking performances have led him on a journey around the country from LA to New York. His musical magnetism has drawn recognition and praise from the city of Chicago’s Mayor Richard M. Daley, who honored the multi-talented with a proclamation proclaiming December 5th Enrico Hampton Day in the City of Chicago. Rico’s performance is irresistibly intoxicating and should not be missed if the opportunity occurs. ”

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Watch as he performs a medley of his most popular songs….right when teh gala was supposed to end with his grand finale, the crowds just did not want to go home and encores were requested.  So sit back and enjoy teh show….

Thank you Rico for the dedication that you give to the community to make a difference!

27 Miracles www.27miraclesbyrosie.com

The Gift of Life www.thegiftoflife27.org

Treasured Moments  http://tmvphdfilms.com/

Rico Michael Jackson http://ricomichaeljackson.com/www.ricomichaeljackson.com/HOME.html

 

The Gift of Life Presents Whitney Lynn

The Gift of Life was honored to have Christian recording artist Whitney Lynn.  She is a songwriter, actress, host, worship leader, & speaker. The artist has received an IAAPA nomination for, “Best Female Performer” (one out of three females in the world). The artist has toured to India, hosted Disney’s Night of Joy, advertised through TV Guide, and recorded for Grammy Award winning producer, Dru Castro. Whitney Lynn has sung backup for Donnie McClurkin, Karen Wheaton, and The Crabb Family for TBN, and has been heard on radio. She is grateful to use her gifts for God’s glory and to reach the lost through her music.

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Whitney touches many through her music. Her song Thank You for the Rain was most recently used to comfort a mother after the loss of  her baby 2.5 years old.

https://astoryoffaith.wordpress.com/2015/03/07/remembering-chloe-as-she-flies-high/

Watch her perform at The Gift of Life Charity fundraiser

Thank You For the Rain

 

Sweet Symphony/ A Fun upbeat song had everyone at The Gift of Life jamming!!!

Thank you Whitney for your dedication to help our preemie families through your gift of song..

27 Miracles www.27miraclesbyrosie.com

The Gift of Life www.thegiftoflife27.org

Treasured Moments  http://tmvphdfilms.com/

Whitney Lynn  http://www.whitneylynn.org/

Remembering Chloe as She Flies High……

The Gift of Life rejoices with every single success that they hear about for their preemie families and they love to share those wonderful stories.  Today they want to share another story, but this is a story of a mother’s love for her preemie.  Chloe, who was born at 27 weeks weighing 1 pound 2 ounces on April 26,2012.249047_4111512754709_1255510758_n 293146_4243290169062_937663576_n

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As we know all preemies have their good days and bad days.  Chloe was no exception, but all throughout, she was her mommy’s “peanut.”   Not a day went by when Chloe would not muster up a smile for her mommy.9810_10206213100995029_1099765059710947490_n 600254_10202492737828275_1760114309_n 1002877_10201964341138688_679646142_n 1526890_10203679295491475_695755579_n 10409414_10204600834329370_1792297983962818101_n 10952410_10206201103895109_2678209341172752782_n (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chloe was doing well for a bit, getting through every hurdle you could think of and each and every time mommy was there.  But on Friday February 27,2015 At 10:23 pm, Chloe had her last smile and breath for mommy.  She could not overcome the challenge.  Chloe stopped breathing and passed away in her mommy’s arms at the hospital surrounded by family and friends.  She tried to fight till the end, but it was too much.  She is flying high in no more pain.  Just looking at her sweet angelic face tells you how sweet this beautiful child of God was.

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We always ask ourselves when a child so young is taken from us, Lord why?  We go through different stages at different times in our lives and we can truly never figure out why.  Whitney Lynne, recording Christian Artist came out to sing at The Gift of Life Charity Benefit for Premature babies last year and sang a song called Thank You For The Rain.  If you listen to the lyrics, it is thanking God for the rain and trusting in Him while standing in in the rain.  It speaks about the hurts and how sometimes God uses a storm to bring us close when nothing remains.  This is definitely a moment of standing in the rain, but God is there carrying us when we only see one pair of footprints in the sand.

Chloe left behind a brother and her parents…..although she is gone from her home here on earth, she is in the hearts of those that loved her forever……

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We pray for comfort for Chloe’s parents and family.

If you can help this family with any funding, please click on the link below:

http://www.gofundme.com/c038w0
The Gift of Life http://www.thegiftoflife27.org

Whitney Lynne http://www.whitneylynn.org/

Treasured Moments Videography http://tmvphdfilms.com/

 

Thermal Bags for Preemie Moms to Carry Liquid Gold!

Happy New Year from The Gift of Life!!!

Today The Gift of Life wants to share a little bit about what is liquid gold.  When a baby is born premature, they need every fighting chance that they can get.  One of those things is mom’s breast milk so that they can have all the antibodies that the babies need.  Now because they are so tiny, they cannot breast feed and get the proper nutrition, so moms have to pump.  It is a labor of love and no matter what amount they can pump, it is accepted as “liquid gold” for the baby.  The baby will receive it via tube feeding and it is proven that these babies will progress so much better.

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The American Pregnancy  Association references that breast milk is “ultimately the best nutrition a baby can receive.”  http://americanpregnancy.org/first-year-of-life/whats-in-breastmilk/

Healthy Children states, ” The fat in human milk helps to enhance the development of the baby’s brain and neurologic tissues, which is especially important for premature infants.”  http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/breastfeeding/Pages/Providing-Breastmilk-for-Premature-and-Ill-Newborns.aspx

Mothers staying at the Ronald McDonald Houses have to transport their milk to the NICU for their babies.  When you are at home you have all the comforts that you can get, but when you are in a different environment to transport milk can be a challenge.  The Gift of Life received some donations to purchase thermal bags and be able to donate them to Ronald McDonald House so that when they are ready to transport the milk cold to the NICU they can do so safely and without worry.

If you or your organization want to be a part of the thermal bag donation, contact The Gift of Life today :

email: info@thegiftoflife27.org

Phone:407-905-5454

Visit us on our website: http://www.thegiftoflife27.org

Treasured Moments Videography  http://tmvphdfilms.com/

 

 

One Last Time

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You have one last time to give in 2014 to make a difference to preemie parents in the community…

 

“Because life is a gift, we treasure each moment.”

 

Your donation helps so many parents.

“I  just received a crochet  love bear for my son who is in the NICU at Florida Hospital South. He was at born 24 weeks weighing only 1 lb  12 oz. I just wanted to say that we loved the bear. He is 9lbs now and headed home tomorrow after 4.5 months!:)  I love homemade items especially ones made with love. Your work is appreciated.  Thanks again for our bear. We will treasure it.” Preemie mom

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See how The Gift of Life Impacts so many parents:

A visit to Florida Hospital for Children

https://astoryoffaith.wordpress.com/2014/12/26/love-bears-have-a-new-home-with-the-little-miracles-in-the-nicu/

Love Bears Have a New Home in the NICU at Florida Hospital


Your donation brings a glimpse of hope to parents when they don’t think there is any. 

We work hard, with a team of volunteers to bring support to parents of premature babies.

Would you or your business consider making a special year end tax deductible gift to The Gift of Life today. All donations need to be in by midnight 12/31/2014 to be eligible for tax year deduction 2014.

Click on the link to make your donation today:

http://www.thegiftoflife27.org/make-a-difference.html

If you or anyone you know has been blessed by The Gift of Life, forward this to all you know and help us finish the year end strong.   

We are looking forward to serving more families and hospitals in 2015.   Thanks you for walking with us this year in our journey to raise awareness.

Happy New Year and Many Blessings to you and your Family

 

Rosie and Marcus Moore

Co Founders of The Gift of Life

Parents of a Premature Baby

The Gift of Life www.thegiftoflife27.org

Info@thegiftoflife27.org

407-905-5454