|Recently, the Simmons Family visited Winthrop to present the proceeds from their fundraiser to benefit the Hospital's NICU and Perinatal Bereavement Team. Pictured (l.-r.) are Nazeeh Hanna, MD, Chief of Neonatology; Sean, Chrissy and Sabrina Simmons; Mariellen Cain, RN; and Peggy Murphy, RN, Nurse Manager of the NICU.
Life – it can be filled with unexpected trials and astounding miracles. Yet those who are touched by both circumstances simultaneously, and then use their experiences to benefit others, are few and far between. Chrissy Simmons and her husband, Sean, are examples of such people.
When they welcomed beautiful twins Peter William and Sabrina Marie-Claire at Winthrop on August 5, 2012, the Simmons’ lives were forever changed. The twins were 16 weeks premature and despite every effort of the Hospital’s NICU team to save him, Peter did not survive.
Suddenly, the new parents were faced with incredible challenges as they witnessed their daughter fighting for her life while grieving the loss of their newborn son. Winthrop’s Perinatal Bereavement Team stepped in to help the family cope and 138 long and challenging days later, Chrissy and Sean left Winthrop with a thriving 5 lb. 3 oz. Sabrina (who had weighed just 1 lb. 1 oz. at birth) in their arms.
“It is because of the staff in the NICU that we are able to enjoy Sabrina’s smiling face every day,” said Mrs. Simmons. “It is truly amazing how one little girl can change your entire world.”
Eternally grateful for the cherished life that brings them so much joy, and wanting to pay honor to the memory of their son, Peter, Mr. and Mrs. Simmons wanted to
do something special to give back to the Hospital that helped them through the most challenging time of their lives. With that in mind, the family conceptualized an idea for a fundraiser to benefit Winthrop’s NICU.
Over 300 people gathered at the October event, which was held at the Coral House during Infant Child Death Awareness Month. Surrounded by staff from Winthrop, friends, family and colleagues, Mr. and Mrs. Simmons were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for their efforts. In fact, the event was so successful that it helped raise over $21,000 for Winthrop’s NICU.
“We can’t put into words what Winthrop’s NICU has done for us,” said Mrs. Simmons recently. “It is our hope that money from this fundraiser will help other families with sick babies and let them know that they are not alone.”
“Sean and Chrissy have become a part of a family that they didn’t know existed - the NICU family,” said Mariellen Cain, RN, a NICU nurse who played an instru- mental role in their children’s care. “They have told us on so many occasions how thankful they are to have had us, but we are the lucky ones for having met them. What they are doing to help support future fami- lies who will face the same struggles is just another example of their good nature and selflessness, and we thank them for their generosity and kindness.”