Olivia’s devoted parents, Jennifer and Michael, have faced more hardships as a mom and dad than anyone should. Their road to conception was long, and then what was hoped to be a happy triplet future became, sadly, a complicated high-risk twin pregnancy. Their world ground to a halt in November 2012 when Jenn was diagnosed emergently with HELLP Syndrome and babies Gavin and Olivia had to be delivered immediately at 24 weeks' gestation in order to save their mother. Thankfully, Jenn recovered from her illness, but Gavin was not able to survive more than an hour--a loss the family will always grieve. Olivia, not even two pounds, began the roller coaster ride of a 118 day stretch in the NNICU--a stay which involved numerous surgical procedures and countless life-threatening incidents.
Once she was finally discharged from the hospital, Olivia (who still weighed less than 9 pounds) began what continues to be a long stretch of different kinds of therapies and protocols to help her grow and keep her healthy. Babies born as prematurely as she was typically require lots of extra TLC throughout childhood, and Olivia's needs have been numerous, particularly due to drainage issues in her brain and physical delays in the growth of her body. Between physical, occupational and voice therapy sessions, plus appointments with neurologists, gastroenterologists and other specialists, it's rare for Olivia to have more than a few days between medical visits.
The past few months have been especially challenging, as Olivia has required frequent trips to the emergency room, many of them resulting in hospital stays. She's been battling various infections and enduring painful tests and procedures to determine what's been making her repeatedly so ill. She'll soon have surgery to remove six kidney stones, which cause pain and affect her ability to eat and sleep, and will need additional follow-up to ensure she's healthier going forward.
Despite the trauma and pain, Olivia maintains--when she possibly can-- a happy, spunky attitude and is quick to share a smile. She has brought an incredible amount of joy to many lives, despite the intensity of her short life.
Throughout these many arduous months, Jenn and Mike, along with their families, have been steadfast in their advocacy for their sweet girl. Many friends and other loved ones have asked how to help, and now is the chance to make a difference for this family. Now, more than ever, they need us to stand up and say, "We support you!" And as much as they need our encouragement, they need our generosity as well. Please consider a donation to help these good people. All contributions will be used to help offset the considerable expenses they are incurring as a result of Olivia's unique medical challenges. Thank you for joining us in saying, "We love you, Olivia!"
- Karen McKeown
- John Lyman Cheer
- Karl Sundquist
- salvatore scotto
- Franciene Lehmann
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