Nine minutes, that’s how long our newborn baby girl was without oxygen. Born lifeless, our newborn baby girl was immediately rushed off and intubated. Suddenly – it seemed – our life was quickly turned on its side and we were unaware which end was up. It was all a blur. And we hadn’t even got a chance to meet her yet.
When babies are born they are given an Apgar score between 1 and 10. It’s a score that factors in a babies color, breathing and tone. Our daughter was a 1 when she was born; within two minutes she was a 4; and at the five-minute mark she was a 7. Steady. Improving. Fighting. After 90 minutes, she was taken off the ventilator (her Dad was the only one that saw her on it).
Maggie is now 18 years old and we have been so blessed with the unbelievable support of family, friends, doctors, educators and therapists. We have been able to provide her the best life she could possibly have. She’s been able to achieve so much more than any one – including ourselves – ever could have predicted.
We wanted to create opportunities for other families, like ours, to be able to provide their special needs son or daughter with everything they need. Many things are not covered by insurance or funding is not available due to a families financial situation. We have created programs that help families with teen drivers training, scholarships for young adults and the opportunity to play in the Miracle League.
The idea of creating Kelly’s Kidz came after our first child was born with Cerebral Palsy. From the moment she was diagnosed it became our mission to provide opportunities for others that may be in a similar situation. Here is our story...
Our daughter was due on Christmas Day (2002). As it does for most first-time mothers, the “due date” came and went. Finally, on New Year’s Day, we were at the hospital and expecting to meet our daughter at any time. It was a little rough going, but we knew there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately, the light at the end of the tunnel was where the trouble was. Our newborns’ heart rate had plummeted during the pushing process and did not return. That’s when the room around us began to swirl with a variety of doctors and nurses.
I was introduced to our daughter Maggie in the NICU almost 2½ hours after I had given birth to her. I wasn’t allowed to pick her up. Couldn’t hold her close. Couldn’t tell her it was going to be all right. Everything parents are suppose to do… I couldn’t. All I could do was hold her hand and cry. Finally – at 14 hours – we were able to hold our baby girl. Even though she was hooked to all of those tubes and monitors, we knew at that point that it did not matter what happened - she was our daughter and we would do anything and everything, to take care of her and give her the best life possible.
Doctors had told us their primary concern was seizures within the first 24 hours of her life. Get through the first 24 and she’d more then likely be OK. After 16 hours, she had her first seizure. The seizures continued, both physically and in her brain (sub-clinically), for the next 14 days and beyond.
Additionally, we’d like to create awareness. So many people are seemingly ignorant to the ways of the disabled. They feel that they should either stare or just look away in pity. If you have a special needs child you know that both of these actions result in anger and disappointment. If the public were just a little bit more accepting and courteous to the disabled, it would make our jobs as parents easier. We hope you’ll join us on this very exciting journey as we work to make a small difference in the lives of many.
Thanks for Caring,
Kelly and Dave Hermann
P.S. We also publish a newsletter and encourage you to check it out!