When Benjamin was induced and born three weeks early due to my Pre-eclampsia getting worse, he came out limp and unresponsive. He was rushed off to the NICU almost immediately, where he rollercoastered his way back and forth between intensive care and basic monitoring for a while. He was unable to maintain his own body temperature, was not allowed to eat initially because he was at risk for bowel perforation, toyed with jaundice for a few days, and had all but one test to rule out systemic infection and brain damage.

Leaving your newborn in the hospital after being discharged yourself is incredibly hard. Watching that tiny human undergo more tests in one day than most of us would in a week takes a toll on you, especially mentally. You feel so helpless, and all you want to do is be by their side as much as possible. Not being there for our child was not acceptable for us. Living an hour away from the hospital however had us scrambling, trying to figure out how to make ends meet.

As his parents, Benjamin being our first born, and being completely blind sided by the situation, we were a mess. That’s when little angels came rushing in, and insisted “Let us help you. We will get through this together.” I don’t know if it’s pride, stubbornness, or denial that made me think to decline this offer at first. I thought “He’s not sick enough. Save it for the really sick children” because without realizing it at the time, our sweet boy was one of those really sick kids.

I met Lisa through volunteering at a couple of the organizations’ fundraisers in the past and always valued their presence in the community. I never expected to ever need their help, but here was Lisa, insisting over and over that we accept it anyway. The biggest heartfelt Thank You to Hope 4 MVC Kids and their team of heroes without capes. You helped us cover accommodation costs at the Ronald McDonald House, fuel costs and food expenses. It allowed us to be with our boy, keeping him well fed and enabling us to manage nursing complications. It funded the expensive medication.

Benjamin needed to come home on, and it gave us the peace of mind to love him as much as you can love your new baby when he’s a tangle of tubes and wires. After ruling out the possibility of brain damage and stabilizing his entire system over time, Benjamin finally came home early October and is now doing well.

Words cannot explain how incredibly grateful we are for your help! Some day we hope to pay it back, or at least pay it forward.