Pennies for Preemies Emerson Dames

$6,295 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 51 people in 2 months
Created December 21, 2017
                     My name is Hope Kleine, I'm raising money for my co-worker Austin Dames. This is a picture of his daughter Emerson. Emerson had a twin sister named Finley. They were born four months early, due to a complication with Finleys growth.      Austin and his wife Kim are very responsible and private people, so getting there blessing to set up this page was a bit of a challenge. I started the fund raising here at work, we did very well. Considering we work in a retail store and everyone  has a family and home of their own to take care of.     Austin and Kim have been off work since November, when Kim was hospitalized. The girls were born on December 12th,  they weighed just barely over a pound. Finely was given a 15% survival rate and Emerson a 60% survival rate. Finley fought hard for 4 days. Emerson continues to fight and has a long way to go. Emerson is expected to remain in the NICU until at least March. She continues to make slow and steady progress. Kim says it's one step forward and two steps back but has been assured it is completely normal.     The money raised will be used to keep the bills paid and then to pay the hospital bills. Can you imagine the emotions and stress these parents must feel. grief, joy, fear, stress all at the same time.    Will you please share this story on all your social media. I know we can make a difference in this family's life. Thank you for taking the time to let me share this story with you. God Bless. Below. Is a link to Austin and Kims story http://www.kmov.com/14057292/surprise-squad
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2 months old

Journal entry by Kim Dames — 2/16/2018
I am amazed at how time has flown by and our girl is now two months old. She has had a lot of changes and adjustments to make in the past couple of days. Her settings on her oxygen have remained the same as the doctor's main goal is to let her rest and grow. They have made adjustments to her feeds. She had been doing 24-hour continuous feeds but they have been adjusted to 45 mil for two hours and an hour break in between where her glucose levels are checked to make sure they are normal. She has handled the transition well.

Our biggest accomplishment this week is she moved into a crib! She has been able to maintain her body temperature for some time allowing the humidity on her bed to be turned off but she needed to be close to 4 lbs in order to move to an open crib. But since she has been able to hold her body temperature they tested her by popping the top on her bed to see if she can continue to hold that temperature for 24 hours and she passed. So today was a big deal for us.. They rolled in a crib and took her out of her "grow pod" as we like to call it which she has called home since day 1. It was a big change for her and may take her some time getting used to as it's much nosier and she has to work harder to keep her temperature up. Another thing she has to get used to is laying on her back. She is 100% a belly sleeper and is happiest on her belly. This will be a tough battle. Being a preemie so early it takes her time to adjust to new things and requires a lot of energy out of her that is why they don't make several changes at once as it can cause her to go backward instead of forward. We are very proud of her and the direction we are going. We still know we have a long and bumpy road ahead but are so glad we get to snuggle her now as much as possible.

We have been getting asked a lot about when she will be coming home and the answer is we don't know. It all depends on Emerson. A preemie who has had no complications or setbacks would normally go home by there due date, but since Emerson has the chronic lunge disease we would be lucky that she would go home by then. It will most likely be sometime in April. But again we have no idea when she can come home. She has several milestones she will need to accomplish before she can come home 1. keep her oxygen saturation high without needing extra oxygen or other respiratory support 2. take all feedings by mouth well enough that she is gaining weight steadily on a feeding schedule 3. maintain her body temperature (which she is starting to do now) 4. and any other tests. Fingers crossed she continues in this direction.

Here are a few things about Em this week
She smiles a lot
Loves Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Weighs 4 lbs 1 oz
Loves laying on her belly
Stays awake longer
Follows my voice with her head
Looks adorable in pink
No idea on hair color appears to have a reddish tint
Takes a pacifier well just needs help learning to keep in mouth
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7 Week Update

Journal entry by Kim Dames — 2/6/2018
Emerson is now 7 weeks old/32 weeks and now weighs over 3 lbs. We are unbelievably happy with the progress she has made since completing her rounds of steroids for her chronic lung disease. She was originally on a bubble cpap which is a non invasive ventilation which provides continuous airway pressure to maintain lung volumes during expiration. She was then weaned down to only a cpap which is a positive airway pressure ventilator that applies mild air pressure on a continuous basis to keep the airways open. Since she did so well with the cpap she was again weaned down to a high flow nasal cannula which is a thin tube that sits inside her nose that delivers a mixture of oxygen and air. She is much happier with the nasal cannula even though she still tries to pull it off of her face. We are also happy as not only is it an awesome step in the right direction we are now able to see more of her face. Her doctor has reassured us that she is doing great. She will continue to get weaned in the next couple of days. As for now we just want her to rest and grow. We can tell how much she has changed from day one. She wears preemie onesies and hats. She loves her pacifier. Smiles often. Opens her eyes more and looks around. Prefers laying on her belly. Loves her hands by her face. Still feisty. Knows mom and dad's voice. And above all is completely adorable. This little girl is loved beyond words.
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Remembering and honoring Finley
Gone but never forgotten
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some new photos
snuggle time
almost a smile
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$6,295 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 51 people in 2 months
Created December 21, 2017
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