Local help available for parents whose children have died - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Bobby's Bama

Local help available for parents whose children have died

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

The loss of a child can be overwhelming to a parent.  For people like Amber Keith, a support group can be a beacon leading them through the grief.

"Kylie was our first pregnancy and we had 5 years of infertility struggles and when we were blessed with her pregnancy and we were excited." says Keith.

She says her daughter came early at 26 weeks and 5 days weighing 1 pound 8 ounces.   

"And she struggled for two weeks here in the NICU at Huntsville Hospital.  She got a bowel disease called neck.  It's basically destroying the cells in your bowel. And after a surgery that was done to save her life, she passed away on October 15th after being with us for 2 weeks." Keith says. "The first couple of months were very dark. I was hurting."

She participated in a couple of support groups and began to blog, expressing her feelings.  She then found  "Resolve Through Sharing Group" at Huntsville Hospital.  

"That meeting alone, gave me a lot of hope and showed me that I was not by myself." says Keith.

She says it was taboo to talk about such a loss but the group also led her to reach out to others establishing an on line group. 

On the anniversary of Kylie's death, there is an event which brings parents together to share their loss.

The group meets in a classroom, in the Dowdle Center, the second Thursday of every month.  They say their goal is to make certain everyone knows they're not alone.

Registered Nurse, Ellen Harris is the facilitator for "Resolve Through Sharing Parent Support Group.  

"Any time you have a loss, our society gives us a few weeks, a few months to get over it.  And of course these families lives have been changed forever" says Harris. "And the resolution of grief is to tell your story.  But people begin to get tired of hearing it and they're ready for you to move on."

But she says that isn't an easy journey.  

"You know 20 to 25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage.  So we have a lot of losses. And we also have to deal with the misconception that a miscarriage is not as big a loss as perhaps a baby that is lost in the NICU." Harris adds.

Through careful guidance and gentle direction it's a journey parents can navigate.

For more information on the program click here.

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