Meet Kelli Kelley!December 8th, 2009
Meet Kelli Kelley. This mother of 2 has had an intimate experience with preterm labor and prematurity. In 2000 her son Jackson was born at 24 weeks weighing just 1lb 8oz and was 12 1/2 inches long. Jackson spent 4 months, 105 days in the NICU, but remarkably today, he is a robust 9 year old. There are a few residual effects of his prematurity; he wears glasses, he has some fine motor coordination difficulties and needs a bit of extra help with school work, but overall he’s doing great. Kelley’s daughter Lauren was also born prematurely at 34 weeks, but only spent 1 week in the NICU. She too is doing just great at 6 years old.
When Kelley tells her story, she speaks of how isolated she often felt with such a tiny baby who was so sickly. As a result of her own experience, Kelley is starting an organization to support families of premature infants. A Hand to Hold is a non-profit organization that will partner new parents of preemies with “seasoned” parents of preemies to not only help the new parents navigate the maze of information, health care and developmental services they’ll need to care for their child, but also to support them and to offer a sympathetic ear, shoulder to lean on and a hand to hold as they raise these sometimes very “delicate” children. The organization will initially start in Texas, but Kelley plans to make the program national so that parents will have all that they need to cope and so that the entire family can thrive.
Listen to Kelli Kelley’s story and how she is setting up in an online interview in our most recent podcast. As always, constructive comments and feedback are always welcome.