Premature babies and their parents
There's an organization named Jentots that I learned about in today's Sun-Sentinel. They help families of premature infants here in Florida. I know a little about this from my son Daniel who was born at 28 weeks gestation in 2003. It is a difficult experience having a child in the NICU, the mother and sometimes the father often feeling they failed as parents. They didn't but seeing your child hopeless and ill makes one feel that way. If you have a spirit to give, send a contribution to Jentots. I will.
For more information, or to make a donation, write to: Jennifer Gandel Kachura Foundation, P.O. Box 501, Owings Mills, Md. 21117, call 561-483-5607 or visit the Web site at jenstots.org.
The rest of the Sun-Sentinel article is below. Love you Daniel, Mommy and Daddy will never forget you.
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Premature babies born at Bethesda Memorial Hospital and their parents are receiving special attention from the Jennifer Gandel Kachura Foundation.
Started as a tribute to their late daughter, Barbara and Larry Gandel, Baltimore natives who live west of Boca Raton, have donated disposable cameras, a digital camera and a printing dock, "Jennipooh" bears, Disney musical globes and toys to comfort premature babies and their parents during extended stays in the Boynton Beach hospital, said Lisa Kronhaus, Bethesda's director of public relations.
Jennifer Gandel Kachura, affectionately called "Jennipooh," was born prematurely. Delivered at 28 weeks, she weighed 2 pounds, 10 ounces and was in an incubator for three months. After her death from a pulmonary embolism after complications from back surgery, her parents wanted to honor her memory.
"When Jennifer died, we wanted to do something to keep her memory alive and honor her life," Barbara Gandel said. "We started with the hospital in Baltimore with purchasing equipment and Jennipooh bears, and this bear is given to every baby that enters the NICU [neo-natal intensive care unit]. We extended the program into Bethesda, because I wanted to become involved in a local hospital."
A card accompanying the bear indicates that it's given in memory of Jennifer, reading: "Every day with your child is important and needs to be filled with love."
Ariel Maldonado, the premature daughter of Nanette and Adrian Maldonado, spent three months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the hospital after her birth May 23.
Weighing 1 pound, 4 ounces at birth, Ariel was in an incubator and on a respirator until July 20. She came home Aug. 17. Even when she was separated from her parents, she was never alone, her mother said.
"The first thing I was given was the teddy bear with the purple T-shirt. I was able to hold the bear and show it to Ariel in the incubator and it felt that someone was with us through her recovery," said Maldonado, 31, who lives west of Lake Worth.
The gesture affected Maldonado and her husband as they visited their daughter. "Something so small can be so big and touch you at the moment, showing you someone was caring and thinking about you," she said.