Caelen James Thom was born at Carolinas Medical Center on June 23, 2012. Due to a series of complications he spent the next 155 days of his life in the Levine Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery. The “West” Nursery became a second home for my family during his stay. In an odd way it actually became comforting to be there, as we knew he had access to the very best medical staff.
As the Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery (NICN) became so much a part of our lives, we thought of no better way to memorialize Caelen than to support other families that are going through similar circumstances. Despite all of the positive things we can say about our experience, there are some that we felt needed attention. These areas are where Caelen’s Cause will help.
Caelen’s Cause aims to assist families through a variety of ways:
- The NICN is full of emotion, both tears of joy and sadness. However, the tiny boxes of tissues supplied by the hospital are generic and tough. We aim to provide quality facial tissues for families to use so that little nuisances like sore eyes and runny noses won’t take any attention away from the brand new miracle in their lives.
- When a newborn baby is in the NICN, it is difficult to find enough time to spend there. In addition to finding the time to visit, it is often necessary to find care for older siblings. When families need to bring siblings to the NICN, it is important to us that those siblings are also well taken care of and have entertainment in the waiting rooms. We strive to provide appropriate games, toys and distractions for these big brothers and sisters in the family waiting rooms so that visiting the new baby isn’t a chore for anyone involved.
- We feel we had the greatest nurses, nurse practitioners, therapists, and doctors that we could have asked for. We want to ensure that future NICN families feel this way too. To ensure this, we want to provide the medical team with scholarships to help with continuing their education and training.
- Caelen was at home in the NICN in part because his family decorated his crib with homemade movie screens, jungle gyms, and other hand sewn items that helped him develop and feel at home. We want to provide all families the same gift that we had. This helped identify Caelen as “Cael” and not just another patient.
Thanks so much for visiting. Please contact us if you have any questions!