Nonprofit Helps Spread Hope at UVA Neonatology Unit on Christmas Eve
Some families are spending Christmas Eve and the holidays beside their children in the hospital.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Some families are spending Christmas Eve and the holidays beside their children in the hospital.
A Charlottesville nonprofit visited the neonatal intensive care unit at the University of Virginia Medical Center on Monday, December 24, to give out gifts and spread a little holiday cheer to parents looking over their loved ones.
Members of Christian’s Purpose, a Charlottesville nonprofit, handed out bags filled with goodies to parents who are watching over their babies this holiday season.
For the Cobb family, this time of year feels a little bittersweet.
“It really is hard definitely being back here,” Jesse Cobb, who co-founded Christian’s Purpose, said. “This is our second Christmas without our son and just to be here, it's tough.”
The Cobb couple lost their son Christian back in 2017 after he spent just six days in the NICU.
“We've been NICU parents not for very long, but we were here and we do understand how much toll it takes on the family to be in the NICU,” Chelsea Cobb, who co-founded Christian’s Purpose, said.
Now, on Christmas Eve, the family, alongside nurses, is trying to ease some of the stress by handing out gifts to parents who spend most of their nights in the NICU.
“We came here on the 28th and she's been here ever since April 28th,” Sonya Edwards, a parent, said.
Edwards looks over her baby girl Morgan in the NICU.
“All of us are here - me, my husband, and my other daughter - we're here with Morgan just to give her support through the holidays so we can all be together as a family,” Edwards said.
For her, these gifts not only show support, but they also fill a need.
“We got a gas card,” Edwards said. “My husband travels every week to come here back and forth every weekend, ever since April 28th, he's been coming back every weekend so we got a gas card which helps out a lot.”
“They're kind of torn between their family that's away and their child that's here in the NICU, so having stuff like this to help them get through this time is always really helpful to those families,” Sara Rieman, a nurse in the NICU, said.
Even though coming back to the place where they lost Christian is tough, the Cobbs are aiming to bring comfort to other families over the holidays.
“We just want to let them know that they're not alone and that there is hope and it's a tough situation," Jesse said.
The couple hopes to spread hope in a place no parent really wants to be spending the holidays.
“It's just been so humbling and just an awesome experience to be able to just experience the community coming out and showing so much love and support and generosity,” Edwards said.
Parents spending Christmas Eve in the NICU also received a blanket, a journal, and a few other treats.
If you're interested in donating to Christian's Purpose to help some of the families in the neonatal intensive care unit, click here.