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After reading the following submission from Sara Lemley of Mansfield, Texas, I have created a new category on this site of “Giving Back”. Thank you for your sharing your story and keeping little Matthew’s legacy alive. ~ Kim
We are the Lemley’s; Michael, Sara, and Preston. Our journey began in 2006 when trying to conceive a baby was nearly impossible on our own. Several IUI’s and one very difficult round of IVF later, we were finally blessed with the news that we were going to have twins. Twin boys, it was the most amazing news we had heard in quite some time. It was a terrifically healthy pregnancy, until week 23. Due to some complications with Matthew, I was placed on bed rest at the hospital. Week 27 came around and the complications led to an emergency cesarean delivery. The boys were stable but just so incredibly tiny; Preston weighed 2lbs 13oz and Matthew weighed 1lb 6oz.
On a Sunday, three weeks later, we were riding in an ambulance to Cook Children’s Hospital with Matthew. The doctors found an infection in his intestine, Necrotizing Enterocolitis. Matthew fought so hard, but his sweet little body couldn’t regulate his blood pressure to be taken into surgery. At 3:30 p.m. the following day, he passed away in his daddy’s arms.
During our NICU stay the next 2 months with Preston, we noticed other parents in the unit who were having to travel on weekends to see their baby, some even sleeping in their car just to be near. The cost of traveling on top of the agony of not being close to your newborn can be too overwhelming to parents. We asked ourselves how we could pay it forward since we had been surrounded by an incredible support system built of family and friends in our time of need. Mattie’s Promise was organized to help ease some of the burdens that families endure while visiting their baby in the NICU and provide support to families suffering neonatal death.
Please visit our website to find a bit of peace and comfort. If there is any way we can support you or someone you know experiencing a loss or coping with the stresses of a NICU stay, please reach out to us. Enduring the pain is devastating enough; you don’t have to face it alone.
With all our love,
Michael and Sara