THE BACK STORY
(the reason why we have started P4P)

I know.
I know how hard it is to go through the journey of having a premature baby. I am a mother of a surviving “twenty seven weeker” twin. This is seen as extremely preterm.
I know how emotionally draining it is, I know how much self-guilt you encounter, I know how your life is completely different not because you are now a parent, but because your parenthood started so different than what is regarded as the norm. And that is why I wanted to give something back. Our journey of having a premature baby is not mine to keep. My pivot point is that all this happened so that the works of God might be displayed. So here I am, with my other two colleagues starting a non-profit organisation “Projects4Preemies”. I need to share the story; I want to help other families going through this. I didn’t really understand what premature babies meant, before I had to experience it first-hand. I founded this organisation to help make this very difficult journey easier.

My daughter’s list of challenges that she survived is long. She spent 71 days in Neonatal ICU (NICU). She was born second (980g) at 22:33 on 19 July 2019 through an emergency C-section after her brother was born naturally at 20:50. She was born without any signs of life – her Apgar score 0. She was resuscitated (3 times, ventilated, central lined and received a brain sonar (she had a grade 1 brain bleed) all within the first few hours of her life. Her brother lived for 37 hours. He was also resuscitated at birth, ventilated and central lined. I was only able to hold him after he passed away. A very hard reality. His weight was 1.2kg – he had no brain bleed and initially seemed stronger yet he lost his fight.
His sister survived a brain bleed, a hole in the heart, collapsed lung, jaundice, a swollen bowel, low red blood count and had about seven blood transfusions. I only got to hold her at two weeks after birth, the day before her brother’s funeral. Tubes fed her milk, lights kept her warm, and her crib mostly wrapped with cling-wrap to keep the heat in.
The journey didn’t end once we were discharged. The first year we were more in hospital than out of it. She had 9 viral infections before 14 months and various bacterial infections. So bad that she ended in ICU again and this time around the doctors had to resuscitate her five times. A primary ventilator kept her alive for three weeks until she slowly but surely progressed back to room air. The journey continues with weight gain, milestones to be reached at adjusted age and taking things slower to meet our new reality.
And all of this after we struggled for years to fall pregnant and had to follow the route of IVF.
Now I have another child, born early term. A normal delivery (precipitous labour) although it was a planned C-section. He is a God sent, my rainbow baby. An experience of how normal having a baby can be compared to my first experience. Grateful is an understatement. Yet it also brings more perspective to what having a premature baby really means. Mommy and daddy I am here to help.

THE SAD STORY

THE BEST STORY

Project 1 saw 11 care packages to NICU families during 2019
50 Octopuses delivered to Klerksdorp Provincial Hospital.

THE HOPE STORY

The organisation’s mission is to:
“Our mission is to inspire, encourage and support families affected by preterm birth and make a positive impact in the lives of those fighting for premature babies.”
The organisation’s strategic focus areas and objectives are to create:

Awareness
To increase the public’s knowledge about premature birth, and premature babies.
To increase awareness about the dangers of premature birth.
Education
To create platforms, networks or activities for families with premature children to learn from each other, and experts.
To seek partners that can help address special educational needs of premature children.
Support
To build financial assistance programmes to support families who are nursing their preterm babies in NICUs.
To provide emotional support to families with premature children.
To support research that can improve the outcomes for premature babies (for interventions that work).

CHANGE A LIFE TODAY

Supporting our mission is our three objectives of awareness, support and education.

PROJECTS
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