When Daniel S. and his wife lost their first child, Shai, at thirteen weeks, it was devastating. They leaned on the support from family, friends, and each other to get through the difficult time. Since their loss, they brought a beautiful baby girl into this world, Molly, about twelve weeks ago.
When the couple found out their good friends Josh and Cassandra were expecting a child who would have some medical challenges, they knew they wanted to help and how difficult coping with an unforeseen birth complication was.
Cass gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on September 18, 2020, during one of the most difficult times in our country, COVID. Shae Réalta was 4.9 pounds at birth and was diagnosed with Gastroschisis. This birth defect of the abdominal (belly) wall pushed the baby’s intestines outside of the her body, exiting through a hole beside the belly button. They received amazing care at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) since her birth and after several weeks of surgery and treatment Shae defied odds and made significant progress.
But it wasn’t easy as Cass and her husband traveled back forth daily to the hospital, from their home in Hainesport N.J. into Philadelphia. In order to see their baby girl each day, they adhered to stringent COVID measures, which was a daunting and stressful task for such a new family. Daniel wanted to make things easier for them – so he set up a Give InKind web page to support the family’s daily needs, including a meal train, so they would never have to think about anything but being there for baby Shae. He also sought monetary assistance, securing in excess of $15,000 from various associations, friends, fellow coworkers, and strangers. A lawn and cleaning service were also hired to alleviate some of their daily chores.
In an outpouring of love for the new family, friends and loved ones immediately signed up through Give InKind to help. They were also able to update their family and friends in one central location without all the texting and phone calls.
“Providing this support through Give InKind channeled people to think about all the different ways they could help, it’s been incredible to see everyone rally," said Daniel.
Baby Shae is now home and continues to recover. Cassandra and her husband now have the ability to care for their daughter without the added stress of the hospital setting. They have and continued to shower Shae with love each day to give her strength without worrying about what they need to do at home. As the weeks progress they will add things to their wish list to help them transition home.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the support, truly," said Cass.
If you or someone you know has a baby in the NICU, see how to set up an InKind support page here.
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