Pam, Regina’s mom, was involved with Vivian’s Victory years before her daughter was born. Little did she know that she and her husband would experience a NICU journey of their own—and that they would need help from Vivian’s Victory.
While Pam’s pregnancy was normal, a traumatic delivery caused Regina to be unresponsive at birth. She had to be resuscitated immediately. Eventually, Regina was diagnosed with Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy, which means that she was deprived of oxygen for a time during birth and as a result, suffered severe brain damage. She spent the first 7 weeks of her life in the NICU at Miami Children's Hospital in Florida, where Pam and her husband were living temporarily for grad school.
The prolonged hospital stay took a deep toll on their family, especially with a two-year-old son at home. After just a few weeks, it became apparent that there was nothing to be done to improve Regina’s condition. She had many health issues due to her brain injury, but the bottom line is that she would never get better. Pam remembers, “Our doctors said she could die tomorrow or she could live for 20 years. That’s a lot of uncertainty to live with on a daily basis.”
Once it became clear that her health wouldn’t improve, Pam and her husband had to prepare to bring her home. She had surgery to place a g-tube in her stomach, so she could receive nourishment. For the next 8 months, they cared for Regina in their home.
Then, on the morning of February 5, 2016, Pan and her husband woke up to find that Regina had died during the night. “This is where Vivian’s Victory really stepped in for us,” says Pam.
On top of the devastation of losing their daughter, they weren’t financially prepared to cover the costs of a funeral. Many cemeteries and funeral homes offer discounts for children’s funerals, but even with this help they faced several thousands of dollars in expenses.
Vivian’s Victory collected donations specifically for Regina’s funeral. And they took care of all the arrangements, which included not only money but also hours on the phone to coordinate details with the cemetery director and funeral director in Cincinnati and a funeral home in Miami for transport.
“We are so grateful to Maria and Vivian’s Victory for stepping in to help us during the most painful moment of our lives,” says Pam. “And that’s what Vivian’s Victory does on a daily basis.”
Pam goes on to say, “Vivian’s Victory has always been important to us, but now that Vivian and Regina are together in heaven, this mission is much more personal. I see my work with Vivian’s Victory as a way to love my daughter by showing love to others.”
We’re grateful to Pam for continuing to give back, now on behalf of her precious Viv’s Kid.