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Adalyn Mae Hungenberg NICU Stay

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In November 2016, Jordan and Elaine Hungenberg received the most amazing news...they would be expecting a baby girl in May 2017! This was such an exciting and joyous time, as Jordan and Elaine shared the news with their two sons, Jack (3) and Will (2). The two boys were ecstatic to be having a little sister, and already training for the parts of protective, loving, older brothers. 

On February 17, 2016 Elaine began feeling ill. She had a fever, felt nauseous and had abdominal cramping. She went to the hospital to get checked out. Suspected to have an intestinal infection, Elaine went home to recover. The next day, February 18, 2017, Elaine was feeling better so the Hungenberg family went to a local farm so the boys could feed the animals and ride ponies.

While getting lunch on the way home, Elaine began bleeding uncontrolably. Jordan raced the family to the Medical Center of the Rockies in nearby Loveland, and Elaine was immediately prepped for an emergency C-section due to placental abruption. At 1:06PM on February 18, 2017, Adalyn Mae Hungenberg was brought into this world, weighing 2 lbs 14 oz. 

Over the next 7 hours the neonatology team at MCR work tirelessly to stabilize baby Adalyn, and prepare her for transportation to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Adalyn had trouble breathing on the respirator, so she was hand ventilated for hours. Her blood pressure was consistently low, and her vital signs fluctuated. Jordan was in the room to witness the team do everything possible to stablize his baby daughter, while Elaine recovered from surgery, wondering and worrying about her little girl, whom she had not been able to see yet. 

Family and friends rushed to the hospital to help Elaine and Jordan with the boys, and support them in their most trying time.  Information from the nursery came in bits and pieces, and Elaine continued to agonize over the condition of her daughter. Transport to a NICU kept having to be delayed, as stabilization continued to be a struggle.  In this time, Elaine was able to meet her daughter for the first time, in a very brief and emotion-filled moment in the nursery as Adalyn continued to be worked on. With her mother at her side, sweet Adalyn grabbed Elaine's finger and gave her a squeeze, as if to say, "I know it's you, Momma." 

At 8PM, after a teary goodbye from Elaine, Adalyn and Jordan were loaded in an ambulance, and driven to Children's Hospital in Aurora, CO, over an hour away from their home. Elaine had to stay in the hospital in Loveland, continuing to recover from surgery. Once at Children's, Adalyn was successfully transitioned on to a mechanical respirator, and her vital signs stablized. She continued to do fairly well through the night. 

The following day, a mere 24 hours since her C-section, Elaine left MCR in Loveland, and joined her daughter at Children's Hospital in Denver. A mother's will has never been so strong. Putting her own healing and recovery second to Adalyn's stabilzation, Elaine set up constant vigil next to her sweet daughter's side, still not having left Adalyn since arriving in Denver.

The following days were tumultuous, to say the least. An initial brain scan showed only Level I brain bleeding, but Adalyn's blood pressure and heart rate were constantly flutuating between extremes. Further scans and testing revealed Level III brain bleeding. A lung bleed was also detected, which among other things, required Adalyn to receive numerous blood transusions. 

Every piece of good or hopeful news comes with more difficult news. The implications of brain bleeding are devastating for any parent to consider, and Adalyn's condition is in constant flux. 

Adalyn will likely be hospitalized in the NICU for at least 3 months. That means 3 months of intensive care, 3 months of additional diagnostic testing, and 3 months of agonizing worry for Elaine and Jordan.  For the next 3 months Children's Hospital will be their new home, as they will begin to "kangaroo" Adalyn around the clock. This means that Elaine and Jordan will hold Adalyn, skin to skin, 24 hours a day until she is discharged. The physical act of holding her will help stabilze her heart rate and blood pressure. Her brain will continue to develop and her body systems will strengthen. The love of her parents will allow Adalyn to thrive.

As one of Adalyn's proud uncles, and like many of Elaine and Jordan's family/friends, I feel utterly helpless as we witness our loved ones endure such a heartbreaking and emotionally devastating event. The strength, compassion and resolve shown by Elaine and Jordan through all of this is so incredibly inspiring, and though they have a very long road ahead, the love of this family will not falter or lose hope. Initiating and contributing to this campaign is something we all can do, and thereby can directly help Elaine, Jordan and most importantly, Adalyn Mae Hungenberg. I plead to you as a father, as an uncle, and as a helpless family member, please contribute to this campaign so that even just one aspect of this ordeal is easier for Elaine and Jordan. 

This GoFundMe campaign has been established to help alleviate the significant financial burden Elaine and Jordan will incur as their baby daughter fights to live. The medical bills for a typical NICU stay for a baby born this premature costs millions of dollars. Even with insurance, Elaine and Jordan can expect to be out of pocket $30,000 just in insurance payments alone and this amount does not include numerous labs, and medical services that are not covered by insurance, including Adalyn's life-flight transfer to Children's, which will all have to be paid out of pocket. Already, the cost of Adalyn's stay alone, without taking into consideration the other financial burdens placed on their family during this period, is more than what we have established as the goal of this campaign. 

Please keep Adalyn, Elaine, Jordan, Jack and Will in your thoughts and prayers during this most trying of times.


  • Terry, Roger and Corey V
    • $150 
    • 7 yrs

Organizer and beneficiary

Tom Pryor
Windsor, CO
Elaine Hungenberg

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