A Waterville couple is using their experience in the neonatal intensive care unit to help families in the same situation.
Ashley and Colin Kelsey’s beautiful baby boy Finnegan was born Nov. 5, 2021, making them parents.
The time at the hospital with their newborn son proved to be the “longest week” of their lives. Doctors diagnosed Finnegan with something neither Ashley nor Colin had heard of before.
Finnegan had hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, commonly known as HIE. According to hiehelpcenter.org, HIE “is a type of newborn brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation and limited blood flow.”
The article “Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy: Pathophysiology and Experimental Treatments” by Kimberly Allen and Debra Brandon states that HIE “is one of the most serious birth complications affecting full term infants.”
HIE “occurs in 1.5 to 2.5 per 1,000 live births in developed countries,” the article also states.
Finnegan spent a week in Albany in the NICU. During that time, Ashley and Colin had a lot to take in.
“When he was born,” Ashley explained, “the shock of it was like nothing we could describe.”
She said one item helped while Finnegan was being cared for in the hospital. She received a purple bag of personal care products put together by Brinley’s Bags.
“Brinley’s Bags are care packages created especially for families that have little ones in the local Neonatal Intensive Care Units,” their Facebook page states.
The bag also had a short story inside. “I think it was the second day, there was this little excerpt in there [the bag], and it was about their daughter and the fact that they had been in the NICU for a month,” Ashley said.
During this already hard enough time, the couple had to find a place to stay for a week.
The Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region housed the emotionally drained couple. The Albany-branch website states the “25-bedroom Ronald McDonald House in Albany provides a home away from home for families whose children are receiving critical care at nearby hospitals.
“More than 400 families utilize the services of the Albany Ronald…