The Woodlands, Texas (PRWEB) September 12, 2011
Caiden's Hope Executive Director Wayne Keller announced today that Caiden's Hope is partnering with hospitals in San Antonio and Houston, to provide assistance to families with a child in the NICU for an extended period of time.
Caiden's Hope was founded following the very real experiences of Jennifer Call and her son Caiden. Seven months into a normal healthy pregnancy, Ms. Call of Ventura, California started to feel ill and was taken to the hospital. Her mother Terry said “We were all excited to see the baby soon, but then the doctors told us something was wrong.” Three days later her daughter Jennifer delivered son Caiden two months early.
The newborn child weighing only 3 ½ pounds and on a breathing and feeding tube, was moved to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Caiden’s mother said it felt like she was being told “to not get too attached; he probably wouldn’t live to see his two month birthday”.
Caiden’s Hope (http://www.caidenshope.org) was founded in 2010 to assist families experiencing their own experience with a child living in the NICU for an extended period of time.
Within minutes of his birth, doctors told Jennifer that her son Caiden was being transported to a specialty children’s hospital that could provide a higher level of care. Around midnight, the Life Flight helicopter grounded by the weather, Caiden’s mother and grandparents, all numb from their experiences drove behind the ambulance as he was transported to Los Angeles. Not knowing where they would spend the night, not knowing how they would pay for a hotel, not knowing anything about what the future might hold.
The first few nights she stayed at a local hotel, paying the hotel’s discounted medical rate of $125.00 per night. Food, gasoline at over $4.00 a gallon and the mandatory $11.00 valet parking costs were eating up her already tight budget. All she knew was that she was going to remain by her son’s side, no matter the cost.
During the initial stay in Los Angeles, Caiden’s grandfather Ed met another young couple that “didn’t have the money to go to a hotel, they had their sleeping bags and were sleeping on the hospitals 8th floor in unused waiting rooms”. Unaware of the social services available to them, the young couple continued sleeping on benches to be able to remain near their child.
The following days brought better news, Caiden was stabilizing but he wasn’t out of the woods. His mother continued to visit him daily, the out of pocket expenses piling up. Jennifer said “living in the NICU for two months you see all these young families having babies and they are barely making it on their own and now they have to pay for a hotel and for food. I was going broke just paying for the parking”.
Days later, the hospital social services department began to work with Jennifer to find a small apartment style hotel she could share with another young mother experiencing similar issues with her child. Two months later, their ordeal over; both Caiden and Jennifer were allowed to go home. Still with serious medical issues, he has continued to have many follow-up appointments and multiple surgeries forcing his parents to travel to Los Angeles time and again.
Caiden’s Hope, a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas and Ventura, California, works with hospitals to assist other families with short term hotel, air travel, gasoline purchases and parking until the family can make long term arrangements for assistance. Founded in 2010 Caiden’s Hope recently established its third support group in San Antonio, Texas.
Funded primarily by small donations, Caiden’s Hope tries to provide as much support as possible to families with children in the NICU. Calling Caiden’s Hope “the answer to a prayer”, Caiden’s Hope supporter Beth Whitcomb said “At a time when families are facing an emotionally challenging crisis, they are given help to deal with the ever present financial reality”.
Caiden’s Hope has helped families in California, Arizona and Texas with short term hotel and travel needs. Caiden's Hope can be reached at http://www.caidenshope.org