NewsRadio Savannah introduces you to the Koch-Gilbert family and their Ronald McDonald House Of The Coastal Empire experience:
Two months before our wedding, my wife started getting very sick. We were surprised to find out we were pregnant. Shortly after finding out we were pregnant my wife was unable to maintain weight or function without being sick. She had to go on a continuous Zofran pump to help. It became so bad that at 20 or so weeks, she went under anesthesia and had her gallbladder removed.
For a week after, we thought, now this is how it’s supposed to be. How quickly things turn. She started getting sick again, and even though she was healthy it turned into severe pre-eclampsia and developed into a life-threatening condition called HELLP syndrome. We went to the emergency room at 23 weeks and 6 days. The next morning at 24 weeks our daughter Blake was born weighing under a pound with every statistic against her to survive as a healthy child.
We spent 127 days in the Neonatal intensive Care Unit at the Dwaine and Cynthis Willet Children’s Hospital at Memorial Hospital. Blake underwent five intestinal surgeries and four laser eye operations. We spent countless sleepless nights wondering what the next heart monitor beep would bring or lab results would say. We struggled, fought, and just took it one step at a time.
We didn’t do it alone, we couldn’t! So many people came to our aid for comfort and support. I didn’t know this kindness everyone has shown us actually existed outside of a movie. I have been brought to tears on several occasions over it. Here are just a few words about the hospital and the Ronald McDonald house.
To the other NICU mommies and the Ronald McDonald House:
When our 15-ounce little girl was born at 24 weeks, the issues of a severely premature baby came along with it. When Blake took a turn for the worse, there was nothing I could do to reach my wife. As hard as I tried, I wasn’t a mother. I felt hopeless as I watched her spiral into sadness. You all had your own burdens to bear, and in that, you guys came together over family dinners at the Ronald McDonald House. You were able to reach her when I could not and forged a bond that will never break. The world is stressful enough, but having family dinners, a place to call home, and to be steps away from our girl was such a blessing. For these things I will be forever grateful.
To the nurses, nurse practitioners, and neonatal doctors:
We would not be here today if it were not for you. You were strapped in this roller coaster of a ride right next to us. We shared laughs, tears, and sleepless nights. You gave us hope when we had none. You gave us support when we wanted to fall. It doesn’t feel right to just call you our nurses or our friends. Family is the only word that truly begins to feel right. Thank you for completing ours.
We are now home but our journey is far from over. She was extremely lucky to have survived this with no long-term effects. She smiles every day and then some. We can’t tell you how grateful we are for all the support that you give.
How to help:
⏰ Accepting monetary donations between Now - December 11, 2020
📍 Please deliver all cash, check, and gift card donations directly to iHeartMedia Savannah, 245 Alfred Street Savannah, GA 31408
💳Forms of donations accepted:
- Click here to make an online donation to the RMH. Add "Shop With A Cop" in memo.
- Checks made out to Ronald McDonald House with "Shop With A Cop" in memo.
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