Fast forward to now and it’s fair to say Reagan and Mitch could not be more scared or anxious at knowing what the future now holds for them. For within seconds their lives changed forever. They went from joking about popping champagne in the birthing pool to watching their beautiful baby girl fighting for her life in intensive care.
At a week overdue Reagan (as many other women at this stage in their pregnancy) attended a midwife appointment for a sweep. From that point on things became anything but straightforward and the events that followed were to become the most traumatic of their lives. That same night Reagan went into labour and when finally invited into hospital and later after having been checked over, alarm bells were ringing. Baby’s heartbeat was drastically low and during the commotion that followed, it had gone. And although not told it at the time, they had lost Alessi’s heartbeat completely. That’s the point at which an emergency caesarean was undertaken. Reagan lay on the cold theatre bed beyond scared, her and Mitch not knowing what was happening or why. Worst of all they had absolutely no idea if their precious baby would be okay or not.
Reagan was given a general anaesthetic and awoke three hours later to Mitch who asked “have they told you”. “Told me what” Reagan asked. What Reagan hears next is what no mother should ever have to hear. Alessi Rae was born with no heart beat and was resuscitated upon delivery for 35 mins to bring her back. Alessi was in intensive care on life support whilst Reagan was in recovery desperately trying to make sense of what she had been told. Before she knew it a nurse had come to rush Reagan to her daughter. Alessi had already defeated the odds by making it out of theatre but the Drs were still unsure whether she would pull through.
Reagan met her daughter for the first time in intensive care. Alessi was on a ventilator that was breathing for her and badly bruised as a result of the chest compressions from the resuscitation. She was lifeless but she looked so perfect. From that point on Reagan and Mitch were living day by day not knowing what would happen or what Alessi and they would be dealing with next. They didn’t know if Alessi would survive each day and each night, and dreaded each and every piece of news the Drs would have for them.
Ten weeks in NICU involved three days of being cooled, an MRI to confirm severe brain damage caused by lack of oxygen around the time of birth, a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy and Meningitis. Despite all of this their little angel fought on and eventually, being able to breathe for herself, was removed from the ventilator. However, no parent could ever be prepared to learn of the lasting effects of brain damage such as that suffered by Alessi.
Alessi is now 16 weeks old. Thirteen of those have been spent in hospital and eleven of those with only one parent by her side. Covid restrictions have robbed Reagan and Mitch of the opportunity to sit together at their daughter’s side whilst she battles in intensive care, of the opportunity to spend time with their daughter together and to hold their daughter together. Since being home they still face the same difficulties. With Mitch working they cannot be together and Mitch has needed to work because despite all they have been through there is still a mortgage and bills to be paid. Ideally Mitch would take some leave from work in order to be at home, but the effects of doing so incur huge financial burden.
Reagan and Mitch are not the sort of people to ask for help, which is why we are doing so on their behalf. They have been through the most traumatic experience of their lives and tragically there is no light at the end of the tunnel. As a result of Alessi’s ordeal she is unable to swallow meaning that she must be tube fed now and for the rest of her life. She is unable to move her limbs, will never be able to walk or talk, and will never be able to care for herself.
Alessi’s life expectancy is limited.
The time that Reagan and Mitch have with Alessi is so incredibly precious and should be spent together as a family.
So many people have already said that they would help in any way they can and now is your chance. Time is the most precious thing in the whole world; for once it is gone you can never get it back. Although Reagan and Mitch don’t know how much time they have with Alessi, they do know that it is limited. By donating anything that you can you will be helping Reagan and Mitch to spend quality time with their daughters together, as a family, creating memories that they will cherish forever.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts and on behalf of Reagan and Mitch, we are eternally grateful for your help xxx
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