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GIVING HOPE: Gifts For Families In Hospital

Posted on: 5:52 pm, December 2, 2013, by

It’s the season of giving, and one family wants to make sure those stuck in the hospital this Christmas get the gift of hope.

Clare Farnsworth came into the world earlier than expected. Mom Sarah says, “She was born early, two months early.”

The premature birth was a surprise. Sarah Farnsworth says, “It was just a really normal pregnancy, and then I started having really bad back pain, at 28 weeks, and it ended up I was having contractions.”

Clare was born ten weeks early. She spent forty days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Blank Children’s Hospital learning how to live outside the womb. Farnsworth says, “It’s something I don’t think you ever prepare for, feeling helpless.” Dad Dave Farnsworth says, “From a parent’s perspective, you have that feeling of unknown.”

Now, nearly four years later, Clare is doing great. And, the family wants to help others going through an extended hospital stay during a busy time of the year. Sarah says, “The holidays, of course, you just want to be at home with your kids, and bring your baby home with your family. And, so it’s just really hard.”

The family started what they’re calling Project Hope. They’re putting together gift baskets to give to families in the NICU during the holidays. Dave says, “Being able to have someone that blesses you with a gas card or food card, and not having to worry about all the other expenses building up from hospital bills, and just being able to be blessed by someone is great.”

So far, more than twenty families have signed up to help.  They’re filling the bags with life’s little necessities, like stamps, a journal, hand sanitizer, gas cards, gift cards and lots of little snacks. Clare shows one of the baskets saying, “Some of these, they are my favorite. These are cranberries.”

The goody bags vary in cost from $15 to $40.But, you can’t put a price on the item that’s most needed. Sarah says, “That everyone kind of agrees that’s the most helpful is just hearing from a mom, or getting contact information of someone who has gone through that, just to assure you that you will make it through this.”

The family plans to deliver the packages a few days before Christmas. You can e-mail Sarah at sarah@desmoinesmomsblog.com for more information, if you’d like to help. The goal is to make enough bags for the nearly forty families that will likely spend the holidays in the neonatal intensive care unit.

1 Comment

  • This is such a wonderful thing! My daughter Joy was born at 23 weeks in NY last year. Due to modern medicine and prayers she is doing great today. I hemorrhaged at 17 weeks for the first of 4 times because of 100% placenta previa, which turned into placenta accreta (which I believe was caused by 3 prior c-sections). After she came home from 121 days in the NICU, I wrote a memoir called “From Hope To Joy” about my life-threatening
 pregnancy and my daughter’s 4 months in the NICU (with my 3 young sons at 
home), which is now available on both the Amazon and Barns&Noble websites. It was quite a roller 
coaster that I am certain some of you have been on or are currently riding on. My mission is to provide hope to women struggling with
 high-risk pregnancies, encourage expectant mothers to educate themselves before 
electing cesarean deliveries, provide families of premature babies a realistic 
look at what lies ahead in their NICU journey, and show that miracles can 
happen, and hope can turn into joy.
 Please see my website http://www.micropreemie.net and http://www.facebook.com/jenniferdegl and watch our amazing video of my daughter’s miracle birth and life at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_hleySg-iU
    
Thank you.

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