Recipient

Kimberlee B.

Illinois

Life After Mila Jane

I’m writing this on behalf of my amazing little sister, Kimberlee.

In May 2019, my sister gave birth to a beautiful little girl, named Mila We knew MJ might be a little small, but we had no idea of the ride we were about to go on.

Hours after delivery, MJ was transferred to St. Louis Childrens Hospital. What we were told was a “common” and routine heart defect/procedure quickly turned into the worst month of my sister and brother in laws lives.

Everything that MJ went through, every heart surgery, dialysis, being on ECMO (twice!)- my sister never left her side. That sounds challenging enough for someone who had just delivered a baby, but my sister had a 20 month old at home as well.

Throughout the month, my sister never left the hospital for more than a shower.She attended every meeting of physicians, everyone wracking their brains to figure out WHY our MJ wasn’t getting better. In fact, she was getting worse. As a dialysis nurse herself, my sister knew the odds MJ was up against. In the end, genetic testing revealed our worst fear- MJ was missing her 11th chromosome, and had something called “Jacobsens Syndrome”. On Saturday June 22, 2019, Mila Jane gained (what I’m sure are beautiful) her angel wings.

My heart broke into a million pieces that day for my amazing sister. She has been through something no parent should ever have to- burying their child.

Since loosing MJ, Kimberlee has been a rockstar. She gives her all to everyone- her patients, her husband, and her little boy Paxton. She’s doing her best to take care of herself too. Recently, knowing How I love my Peloton, she told me she’s starting joining her husband at the gym, and they’re enjoying spin class together. They’d love to get a Peloton, but right now, being a young working family and still having medical bills from Mila’s hospital stay, it’s not in the cards for them. I hope anyone reading this sees what I see in my sister- unwavering strength. I am SO proud of her.
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