Jackson Peter Ward was born on February 21st, 2019 to Codi and Shelby after a perfectly healthy pregnancy.
Unfortunately, during labor Jackson went without oxygen and was born with Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (or HIE for short). Ultimately it was decided he needed to go to a NICU to meet HIE protocol and just four hours after birth, Jackson and his dad Shelby were on a plane to Sacred Heart in Spokane, Washington and Codi was released to drive up and meet them.
Jackson was placed under hypothermic cooling in an attempt to stop any further brain damage. Jackson had never cried, he never opened his eyes, and his parents couldn't hold him. An EEG was done during cooling and showed next to no brain activity.
After 72 hours of cooling and rewarming his body, an MRI was preformed, along with another EEG. The results were devastating and a parent's worst nightmare. Jackson would never walk, or talk, he wouldn't be able to see, and he would not be able to breathe on his own without help.
Codi and Shelby took a day to process while finally being able to hold their son after a long three and a half days.
On March 1st, when Jackson was only 8 days old, they decided he had been through enough medical interventions, and they pulled his life support. They were given a private room and they were given two days of time with Jackson with no tubes, or cords. Two days to spend loving and cuddling on him, reading him books, and making enough memories to last a lifetime. We were even able to have a family member bring Bentley (Jackson's furry four-legged brother) up to meet him in the hospital.
On March 3rd, after 10 days 6 hours and 12 minutes of life - Jackson took his last breath in his mom and dad's arms.
Codi and Shelby were lucky during their NICU stay. Codi's parents were able to take time off of work and stay in a nearby hotel to be able to make runs to local stores or restaurants for food, clothing, and general life necessities. However it occurred to us that not everyone has people available to do that.
When you're told your child has to be put on life flight, the focus goes straight to your child. You don't think about the things you'll need if you're going to be in for a long haul stay no where near your home - you likely didn't pack enough clothes, enough shampoo, your razor, and mom didn't pack enough post-birth necessities; and that's where we come in.
Our NICU Survival Kits are made for both moms and dads. They are full of life necessities, candies, notebooks, and other little things to try and make a NICU stay a little easier, with a little less stress so that parents can spend more time focusing on their child.
Check out this great video from KLEW on our Idaho Gives fundraising campaign in May of 2023!
Shares a lot of our story and how our non-profit came to be.