Donate to families in need at Primary Children's in honor of Evi Marie Nelson
We recently lost our one-month-old daughter Evi Marie. She was our angel, and we are so grateful for the amazing home she had at the Primary Children's NICU during her time on earth. Since our daughter was there for so long, we qualify for assistance. Many other families suffer not only the loss of a child but the crippling bills that result from long-term intensive care. Each day in the NICU costs thousands of dollars. Our hearts feel for families who face large amounts of debt on top of the hardship of their child being in the hospital.
We want to raise $25,000 dollars to donate in our little Evi’s name. Thanks to a very generous $5,500 donation from members of our church in the Holladay 3rd Ward, $500 from Burt and Anne McCullough, and $500 from us, we were able to start this fund. Every dollar donated to this page will go to the Primary Children’s Charitable Gift fund. This fund is available so parents that cannot pay their medical bills can apply for assistance. With a $25,000 donation we can put Evi’s name on the donor wall in the hospital.
When you fill out the donation form on the page, dont worry about clicking "Honor or Memorial Gift, Yes this is an honor or memorial gift." The donation will still be recorded in Evi's name. And please feel free to enter a personal note as well.
Your donations will be tax deductible. Pennies by the Inch will send you the necesary documentation when needed.
Here is Evi’s story:
2020 was a difficult year. But for us, it was the year that our sweet Evi Marie was born.
Before she was born, the wonderful doctors at Primary Children’s Hospital told us that our little girl had bowel atresia (blockage in the intestines) that would be removed a day or so after her birth. We had a lot of time to process this, and we knew she would need to stay a month in the NICU. But we also knew our daughter would come home and have a normal life.
On December 7th, Liesl went to have a routine test performed at St. Marks Hospital. Dr. Carpenter found, however, that our little girl was not doing well in the womb and needed to come out immediately via emergency c-section. Liesl called me to let me know that I needed to get to the hospital immediately, but since we only have one car right now, I rushed into the street and waived down a car, which happened to be the only people I knew in our area. I got there just in time to bless my wife and follow them into surgery where Dr. Faircloth delivered little Evi Marie Nelson at 3 lbs 8 oz. This emergency surgery saved her life, and she was on her way to Primary Children’s for the next stage of her recovery.
The plan was to perform the bowel surgery two days after her birth, but because of a wonderful nurse named Sam, who notified surgery that she was not doing well, she went into another emergency surgery. Dr. Short did an amazing job removing the bowel atresia and another portion of dead and dying intestines that was injured, most likely at birth. But she had enough intestines left to live a normal life, and we just needed to wait for her to recover in the NICU for two or three months. This emergency surgery saved her life again, and she was on the road to recovery.
For the next month, we watched as she shed tubes and machines, until she needed nothing to sustain her except her mother’s milk. We changed her diaper, fed her, burped her, held her, and, most importantly, visited her every day. Everyone was so impressed with how quickly she was recovering and how amazingly strong she was. Long before we thought she would go home, the nurse practitioner told us to prepare to bring her home soon. We were so shocked and excited that she would come home before even a month had passed. A week later, they were still working on a few things, but the expectation was that she would go home within the week. Everything to this point had worked out well, and we would have our little Evi at home with us before we knew it.
But on January 7th, the evening of her one-month birthday, her nurse Jamie knew something was wrong. Liesl and I were already at the hospital waiting to take the discharge class that is offered to parents to know what to watch for at home. After they took some x-rays and labs, Dr. Short said that she would need to have another emergency surgery. As her condition worsened, surgery notified us that there was a chance that she wouldn’t make it. We kissed her little hand before she went into surgery and went and cried and prayed in the waiting area. It was such great news when Dr. Short came back and told us she would be OK. Her intestine had slipped through a window in the wall of her bowel and gotten stuck, cutting off blood flow. The surgeon said the intestine wasn’t dead yet, so he put everything back in her and left the incision open for a few days to go back in to see if the intestine would heal so he wouldn’t have to remove it. She had survived her third emergency surgery. Evi was a warrior!
The next day we watched over her and read her stories as she laid intubated and sedated. Surgery said they would schedule the surgery for Saturday the 9th at 8 a.m. All the nurses, practitioners, fellows and doctors said that she was doing well. We spent the night at the hospital to be nearby if an emergency came up. Nothing happened, and that morning we got up and went with her down to surgery and were told they expected to look inside her and find a healthy and recovered gut, and that the surgery would take an hour. Liesl and I went about getting a few things done while we waited, and within 45 minutes we got the call to meet the doctors in the waiting room. The acting surgeon got off the elevator with the NICU doctor and Dr. Short dressed in his regular clothes -- he had come in on his day off. They sat us down and told us the worst news of our lives. Evi had had a blood clot in her sick intestine, and it cut off all the blood flow to the whole intestine. She no longer had a living bowel, it was all gone! They then said this was not survivable. Dr. Short took off his mask and told us how sorry he was. Her first planned surgery with no emergency -- and she was going to die. They told us they could keep her stable for a few hours to say our goodbyes.
The rest of the day was beautiful. Family was able to meet her, and Liesl and I were able to give our goodbyes. As evening arrived, we had her breathing tube removed and our little Evi Marie died in Liesl’s arms.
Evi was a pure angel and there are hundreds of other angels and their families at Primary Children’s every day that could use our help. Please donate in Evi’s name. We love you all!
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