Thursday, October 7, 2010

Story of HOPE

Taryn ~ Ella's Halo
Mother of Ella Jo
March 25, 2009 to June 16, 2009
Our daughter Ella was born at 24 weeks and died 83 days later.  As a result of our experiences with Ella in the NICU, my husband and I started a nonprofit called ‘Ella's Halo.’   Our purpose is to help families who have to stay an extended time in the hospital with their premature or sick baby.  We try to bring a little bit of home to the hospital by donating blankets and care packages to these families.  We feel that helping other babies who are like our daughter is doing what Ella would have wanted us to do.  Starting Ella's Halo and helping other families has brought us hope and healing.

It all began when I donated blankets to the NICU where Ella was. After I saw the response from the nurses and doctors in the NICU and how grateful they were by our donation, it inspired me to continue giving.  My own friends and family didn't know how to help us during our grieving for Ella so they too donated blankets.  My goal of collecting blankets grew and quickly snowballed into Ella's Halo.  

I never thought I would be able to live without my little girl. However I learned so much from the experience of losing a child and have survived. I never thought I would be strong enough to do anything much less starting and operating a nonprofit.

I think at first starting Ella's Halo made the biggest difference for me and my husband. It was healing for us to help others who we knew were spending an extended stay in the hospital. We knew how little things, like colorful blankets to wrap your baby in and cute books to read to your baby, were so important to create that home atmosphere. Being able to give that hope and comfort to others was rewarding.

Now we see parents in the NICU smile because they have a soft blanket to hold their baby in or get a care package to help make their time on the unit easier.  These little things are making their lives a little more bearable in a difficult time.  I am including a picture of my and my husband outside of our first event for Ella's Halo, Bowling for Babies. This picture shows the success of all of the hard work we put into Ella's Halo and our love for our daughter.

You can find more about Taryn at her Blog  & Ella's Halo.
 For more on Ella Jo's story, visit Faces of Loss.


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