From Two Pounds to Thriving: Meet Your 2022 Credit Unions for Kids Miracle Children

The summer of 2017 brought many memorable milestones to Mike and Corrina Kelsey. On Father’s Day weekend, Corrina told Mike they were expecting. Over the Fourth of July holiday, they shared the good news with family. Then there was the ultrasound, where not one, but two heartbeats were detected. Twins were on the way!

“I just started laughing,” Mike said. “Corrina started weeping. That was a really joyful surprise.”

Then things changed. There were complications with the pregnancy, and at 29 weeks, doctors at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital in Spokane, determined it was time to deliver the babies.

Twins Jack and Liam at only 45 days old.

Liam arrived first and Jack came into the world a minute later, on Dec. 9, each weighing just over two pounds. The young family would observe many other important milestones — Christmas, New Year’s, and Valentine’s Day — in Sacred Heart’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).  During their 78-day stay in the NICU, Liam and Jack needed breathing support for a longer period of time than even most premature babies, blood transfusions, respiratory therapy for their tiny lungs, a strictly supervised diet, and more. Liam required hernia surgery. And everything they needed was right there, at Sacred Heart.

“You don’t realize how many specialists are at the hospital until you actually need them,” Corrina said. “That team was so crucial to the success of Jack and Liam being able to come home when they did, and  to their health now, and we just count our blessings every single day for the care they received.”

Double Miracles for Credit Unions for Kids

Jack and Liam will be almost five years old by the time they join their mom and dad on stage at this fall’s CU4Kids Disco Ball benefitting the eight Children’s Miracle Network hospitals across the Northwest. The money they will inspire credit unions to raise at the Oct. 26 auction in Spokane will help families like theirs through medical emergencies, illnesses, surgeries, and other critical services. The auction also supports research and life-saving technology, like the Giraffe OmniBed Carestation, where the twins spent weeks of their lives as newborns.

“The Giraffe OmniBed protects and stabilizes the most fragile infants in our NICU, controlling warmth, humidity, and oxygen levels,” said Katie Lowderback, Nurse Manager at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital’s NICU. “It promotes family-centered care and minimizes stressful touches by reducing the need to reposition. Essentially, it attempts to recreate the environment of the womb for babies born prematurely.”

Mike and Corrina remember the lifeline the Giraffe beds gave to their sons, and the connection it gave to them in the early days, to be able to reach in and touch Jack and Liam’s little hands, to change diapers, and to let the team at Sacred Heart care for boys.

Those beds cost approximately $35,000 and your donation at the CU4Kids Disco Ball auction might help buy such technology, so other babies can survive, thrive, and grow.

“Get ready to raise your paddles high into the air and bid generously so the CMN hospitals can make more miracles for families like the Kelseys,” said Holly Miller, who as NWCUA’s Director, Programming, is in charge of the auction. “On the day that babies are born prematurely, or in the moment a child needs surgery or treatments, it can be hard to imagine miracles are possible, but they are.”

That’s clearly true for the Kelsey twins, who are stealing hearts, growing, and living their best lives.

“The light definitely gets brighter every single day, and every single week,” said Mike. “We are so grateful for Sacred Heart and grateful that Children’s Miracle Network is a force that supports them so well.”

Editor’s note: Donate packages for bidding now and register your team to attend the CU4Kids Disco Ball, taking place during the NWCUA’s annual MAXX Convention Oct. 26. Don your high-bidding platform shoes and generosity-inspiring bell bottoms, to support Credit Unions for Kids, the Credit Union Movement’s legacy charity.

Posted in CU4Kids, MAXX Annual Convention.