After a routine pregnancy, Lindsay Kim encountered unexpected labor complications and needed an emergency C-section in order to save her baby Hazel’s life.
Unfortunately, Hazel was deprived of oxygen for an undetermined amount of time, causing permanent brain damage.
A Dramatic Entrance
Baby Hazel’s arrival continued to unfold dramatically, including the practice of chill therapy as her new parents anxiously awaited signs of brain activity. Incredibly, Hazel responded and began her crawl out of shaky beginnings toward an optimistic future.
As the Kims celebrated each piece of good news and grieved each bump backward from the labor complications, their family and friends gathered at their CaringBridge website—from Cambodia to South Africa to their more literal neighbors—offering hope, support and the practical help families need when they are attending to the intense health concerns of a loved one: yardwork, meals and even the creation and distribution of rubber bracelets to show their solidarity as Hazel fought for her life.
Through stints in the ICU, the Ronald McDonald house, visits with doctors and specialists, and days that turned into long, late nights holding their growing baby, Interna and Lindsay Kim documented their journey.
“It was nice to be able to ignore my phone and be present in the moment with Lindsay and Hazel,” Interna says.
Like any new family, they were anxious to begin building their lives together, and Hazel’s condition could change by the minute at first.
“At some point during the day, I would update CaringBridge, and everyone knew that from the email notifications,” he says. “I could be at peace not feeling like I needed to update and also didn’t have to worry that I was leaving anyone out. And it was so nice at the end of the day when the dust had settled to see the comments and hearts. It was so encouraging and just what we needed.”
And as the Kims started to space out their updates—as Hazel became more stable, then was released from 24/7 medical care to finally come home as a family—their CaringBridge followers asked them to keep the site alive so they could continue to follow Hazel’s beautiful face, powerful spirit and incredible story.
Because, wonderfully, despite all the labor complications, Hazel’s story is really just beginning to unfold, at 17 months. Her therapies continue indefinitely. And her parents continue to update her site, chapter by chapter. Because like a living, breathing baby book, they are chronicling all her milestones and moving toward a bright future, together.
Here When You Need It
Are you or a loved one caring for someone on a health journey? If so, start a CaringBridge website, where you can share updates and receive encouragement and support from your community.