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Supporting the Transition from NICU to Nursery

Tiffany Hill was 34 weeks when she felt like something was off with her pregnancy. She hadn’t felt her son kicking normally for the past several days. After having an already complicated pregnancy and recently being admitted, then discharged, to Hoag for preterm contractions and dehydration, she had some hesitation going back again so soon to get checked out. “I told my husband I thought they were going to say I was crazy for coming in and everything was fine, but I checked into Hoag that day at 12:05 PM, and our son Jake was born at 12:29 PM,” she recalls.

It turns out Jake was in fetal distress from an acute infection that Tiffany had contracted. As a result of the infection, Tiffany lost a great deal of amniotic fluid, and her uterus was collapsing. After conducting just several moments of fetal monitoring on Tiffany, the nurses and doctors at Hoag concluded it was necessary to deliver her son via C-section immediately.

A new perspective in the NICU

Tiffany and her husband Austin spent just under a month in Hoag’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with their son Jake. It was here that their inspiration for helping other families in need came to light. “The NICU is a small-knit community, and you start to see the same people coming in. Within just the three weeks that we were there, my husband and I overheard several families talking about the financial challenges they would face in caring for a premature baby at home,” said Tiffany. “Health insurance is wonderful and covers a large portion of hospital and medical bills, but when you have a premature baby, there are a great deal of extra costs associated with the transition once you are home–premature diapers, specialized formula, other essential supplies–it all adds up!”

Tiffany and Austin both understand the importance of bonding and focusing on the joy of being together as a family unit once discharged from the NICU and at home. “After a NICU experience, parents should not be concerned about funding their child’s well-being,” states Tiffany. “We quickly realized there are so many families in need in our surrounding community, and there aren’t many support services or organizations to help with the financial burden families face once discharged from the NICU.”

Putting an idea into action

As soon as Tiffany and Austin got home and settled in with Jake, they put their plan into action and started NICU 2 Nursery. NICU 2 Nursery’s goal is to negate the worry and stress parents face in funding their child's well-being. The goal paired perfectly with Hoag’s recently-established Neonatal Patient Support Fund, which supports Hoag’s NICU babies and families in need with coming home to an optimal healing environment by providing financial aid for critical resources that are required for a safe and healthy transition.

Through NICU 2 Nursery, the couple have pledged their initial goal of $100,000 to Hoag’s Neonatal Patient Support Fund and hope to increase the donation in the future. In addition to making their lead gift to the Fund, Tiffany and Austin set up a fundraiser with their family and friends and raised over $16,000 for the Fund. “We hope to continue raising support for this hugely impactful program, which ensures that all babies, regardless of their circumstance, have the necessary resources to transition from NICU to home,” said Tiffany.

The future looks bright

Today, Jake is thriving and both Tiffany and Austin are extremely grateful for the care their son received at Hoag. Because of their experience, raising awareness and support for Hoag’s Neonatal Patient Support Fund will remain near and dear to their heart for years to come. For more information and to support Hoag’s Neonatal Patient Support Fund, visit: https://giving.hoag.org/HILLNICU

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