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Meet Sherri M., Parent Mentor at Akron Children's Hospital

Sherri M.

Sherri's Story

On April 15, 2009, at a routine ultrasound, I learned that my baby girl, Gianna Lynne, no longer had a heartbeat. I delivered her later that day and the course of my life was forever altered. Throughout my hospital stay, and after, every time I heard of someone else who had also experienced this devastating loss - and survived - I clung to that knowledge and desperately wanted to talk to that person. No one speaks of these things, and to know that you are not alone in this deep pit of grief is invaluable to your survival. To be able to talk to someone else who has been exactly where you are gives you hope, and lets you know that you are NOT alone.

I founded Gianna’s Light in May of 2009 to provide comfort and hope to families experiencing the loss of their baby. I do whatever I can to make sure no family going through this feels like they have to walk this path alone.

Eighteen months after Gianna was stillborn at 28 weeks, I once again found myself in the hospital with pregnancy complications at 28 weeks with our fourth child, Elliana Grace. Once again, I would deliver a child early, but this time we had a heartbeat, this time we had a chance. Elliana was born at three months early, weighing only 2lbs. We were terrified, not knowing if she would ever make her own platelets, not knowing what the long term effects of her level 2 intraventricular hemmorage would be, not knowing if she would survive. And once again, I found myself clinging to stories of families who had experienced a similar situation. After 72 days in the NICU, we got the homecoming we had been hoping for and brought our little Ellie home.

Being a Parent Mentor and working in the NICU allows me to reach out to parents in both of these situations, to let them know that there is someone here who understands what they are feeling, who knows the fear and sadness they are experiencing. Please, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Sherri is a mentor for these care services: Grief and Loss, NICU

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Mentor Gallery Photo
Mentor Gallery Photo
Mentor Gallery Photo

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Sherri M. is a parent mentor for these care services: Grief and Loss, NICU .

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