It's been 10 years since Audrey took her last breath in our arms. Our first born baby girl passed away due to complications from Trisomy 18 on August 29th, 2007. Audrey was born with a host of health complications, and we found out two days after she was born that 50% of all T18’s don’t make it a week and 98% pass away within the year. The neonatologist termed her condition "incompatible with life". Imagine being told it is likely you will see your child die. It was incomprehensible news that we could not be prepared for.
The first year was extremely tough and I’ve found that each year is a bit different, not easier, just different. During her brief 43 days here on earth, we know Audrey touched many lives, especially ours. We frequently relive events from the North Memorial NICU and at home on hospice care. There certainly were difficult moments, but as time passes, the positive memories are more prevalent. We are especially thankful for all of our family and friends that supported us during that time.
We had an awesome surprise on Audrey’s 10th birthday this year with several family members and friends donating to a special fund within Crescent Cove, a non-profit that is near and dear to our hearts. We kept received notifications of donations made in Audrey’s name, and it brightened an extremely emotional day in our lives.
Crescent Cove (formerly Children’s Lighthouse of MN) is an organization that is working to start a hospice home for kids in Minnesota. Bo and I have been supporting the mission of Crescent Cove for six years now. While no one wants to think about children in hospice care, a need exists for a facility that can cater to kids & their families.
Katie (the Founder of Crescent Cove) has a real vision, and it was announced last winter that a hospice building was purchased on Twin Lakes in Brooklyn Center, MN. Renovation was completed in October, and the home will open for families in January
Crescent Cove will be a place of respite and support for families in Minnesota and upper Midwest. Having a child with a shortened-life expectancy is stressful, and the care is typically around the clock. A place like Crescent Cove will provide the much-needed care and resources for families as well as a place to be together during the hospice phase. The space is truly amazing, Crescent Cove families are thrilled how child-centric and peaceful it is.
Bo and I were moved by our family and friend’s donations to the surprise fundraiser. Crescent Cove encouraged us to use these funds for something specific within the mission. Since reading is an important part of our family, we decided to honor Audrey’s life by filling the shelves at Crescent Cove with children’s books. Bo also built the most beautiful bookshelves for the space!
If a place like Crescent Cove would have existed when Audrey was on hospice, Bo and I would have loved to connect with other families caring for children with shortened life expectancies. Caring for a terminally ill child is extremely isolating and overwhelming, and Crescent Cove is able to help lift that burden and provide comfort and connection for families. We look forward to seeing kids and their families reading books in the new space!