Most of you already know the story of Emma-Rose.
Many of you shared it with us in person, through Facebook, at the memorial service, and through your support from up close or afar. But for those of you who don't know, and those who perhaps don't know all the details, here it is:
Karen and I wanted nothing more than to have a baby. We met each other later in life, fell in love, and wanted to have a baby to complete our family. Our joy when we found out we were expecting was indescribable. We'd had a hard journey to find each other and to be able to live together in Canada, but finally here we were and we had a little girl on the way. Karen was still receiving her medical care in the US and on our last visit to the doctor in Bangor, ME, before transferring Karen's care to Canada, we found out that there was a problem. Karen was only 25 weeks along and the baby was small. There was a problem with blood flow and blood pressure. Karen was hospitalized. She was put under constant monitoring at the excellent Eastern Maine Medical Center for almost a week.
I continued to work back in Saint John when I could, but the following week I got a call that the doctors think they may need to deliver the baby. I raced to Bangor. It turned out that day that it was a false alarm. The very next day, September 26th, things seemed to stabilize and I was planning to leave to go back to work, but suddenly the fetal heart rate dropped and Karen's blood pressure went up and before we knew what was happening my wife was being taken to the operating room to deliver Emma-Rose via c-section.
And then she was with us. When she was born she was 1lb 4oz, and 12 inches long. And she was the most beautiful thing in the universe to us.
For the next six beautiful days we were able to see our little darling, our dream materialized. Although she was in the NICU bubble for the whole of her too short six day life, we did get to touch her, and even got to hold her through "kangaroo care" for a few minutes on the night before the worst morning of our lives.
On the morning of October 2nd, despite the best efforts of the NICU team, our poor little baby passed away. She was just too tiny. She was just too early. And she died.
We were devastated. We only held up through our trial because of the love we have for one another as well as the love and support of all our family and friends.
The miraculous life of our baby girl and the tribute and memorial we have for her in Saint John are priceless, of course, and yet there are costs involved. Healthcare in the US, even with insurance, is not cheap. Funerals and memorials, though discounted for babies, are not free.
We have resisted the idea of doing this type of fundraiser for a long time because we feared it was inappropriate to be asking people for money. But then the "potato salad" kickstarter project happened. You can read about it here:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/324283889/potato-salad and we figured, just this morning, if there are people out there donating over $40,000 to some -person- to make a potato salad, then people must have money to spend and there is nothing wrong with asking for some, especially when it is for such a good cause.
Just to give you an idea of the expenses we have faced:
-Our share (the deductible) of the hospital bills for Karen and Emma-Rose was about $6000; we will be paying off EMMC on monthly installments for some time.
-The additional expenses during Karen's and Emma-Rose's care were about $1,500.
-The funeral and memorial costs were about $2500.
As you can see it adds up very quickly. We would greatly appreciate any level of assistance folks out there can offer. Please share our story freely. Thank you for your ongoing love and support.
- Maciej Bednarz
- Alan Ramsey
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