(NECN: Kristen Carosa) - Less than a year ago, a Charlton couple went through one of the most difficult things any parent can ever go through: the loss of a child. Their daughter Sydney was only one pound when she was born, considered to be a "micro-preemie."
Now, Sydney’s parents are hoping to give back to the neonatal unit that kept her alive long enough that they could at least get to know her.
“They took her out and she came out kicking and screaming which was amazing,” says Lindsay Webb-Mayhew.
Lindsay and her husband Patrick remember the day they saw their daughter the first time.
“Sydney had her own personality - they called her feisty - she was full of life,” Patrick says of his daughter.
Sydney was born on May 9, 2012 at just 24 weeks and weighing just one pound. She was considered a micro preemie and spent her life at UMass Memorial’s neonatal intensive care unit.
“Everyone knew she was a fighter - everyone knew she was really strong - everyone knew she was doing her best,” Patrick says.
After several surgeries and attempts to improve her breathing, Sydney died. They say the staff in the NICU held their hands the entire way.
Now, the couple from Charlton is now giving back to the team and the place that helped them so much.
“They weren't only there medically, emotionally for her - they did the exact same thing for us,” Lindsay says.
A foundation in Sydney's name, the Sydney Meaghan Memorial Foundation, will raise money to improve the future for NICU babies, families and staff. They hope to help purchase equipment for the unit.
The first of many fundraisers for the foundation will take place Saturday night (August 3, 2013) at the Auburn Elks on Southbridge Street.
“I give them so much credit - they could have just walked away and said - we spent our six months with Sydney but they are going over and above,” says Dr. Stuart Weisberger, who was one of Sydney's doctors.
Dr. Weisberger will be a part of Saturday's event.
“If we can help out families NICU journey and make things a little easier for them, it’s worth every second,” Lindsay says.
She says while Sydney was here, she changed their lives forever.
Her and her husband will do all they can to keep her memory alive and help families in her name.
“Having this foundation and have Saturday night’s event is our first attempt, our best try to show everyone how we really feel - we are so grateful for what they did for us and for Sydney.”
You can give back in Sydney’s honor at www.sydneymeaghanmf.org