With a name meaning strength and peace, Noah Gabriel was born September 20, 2007, with spina bifida and trisomy18. Due to the severity of his condition, this little boy was not expected to live longer than a week. But he surprised doctors, going home and spending every day until his passing June 14, 2008, bringing joy to this world with big smiles and twinkling eyes.
Though his mommy and daddy, Melissa and Nathan Smurdon, struggled alone to coordinate his home care and find support for themselves, the eight months and 25 days of Noah's life were made possible through their commitment and dedication to their son. "He had challenges, but he overcame so much," Melissa says. "He was an amazing little boy, beating the odds stacked against him. We made many special memories with him, feeling truly blessed for each day." To learn more about Noah's story, visit the Smurdon's blog (no longer updated) >>
"Hospice care should be viewed for what it is—an opportunity to take a very difficult and painful situation and turn it into a peaceful, comforting, quality-filled time in one's life."
Noah’s story demonstrated a need and potential to help families in situations like his. In response to this need, Community Health Network is answering the call to provide coordinated care for the babies and families who have or are expecting a child born with a diagnosis that is incompatible with life.
In Noah’s honor, and with his parents’ blessing, the infant hospice staff established a code for the pages of priority perinatal hospice calls. "Code Noah" is the call they now answer.
Hospice is an opportunity to complete the continuum of care. Infant hospice occupies a unique space in that continuum with services that begin the moment a physician determines a baby, like Noah, may be born with a condition that is not compatible with life. A partner from the beginning, infant hospice staff is there to provide support, comfort, dignity and hope.
Helping other children like Noah
Some of the diagnoses incompatible with life include:
- Severe prematurity
- Chromosomal and congenital abnormalities
- Complications of pregnancy or labor and delivery
Each year in Indiana there are more than 650 infant deaths. The CDC estimates that the leading cause of these deaths is life-limiting congenital and chromosomal anomalies.
Community Health Network has opened the only infant hospice program in central Indiana to provide a continuum of medical, nursing, emotional, social and spiritual care from the time of diagnosis, continuing throughout the limited life of these babies and during the family’s bereavement. It will aid the family and help prepare the community of medical staff and caregivers in their desire to honor and respect the life of the child. Unfortunately, insurance does not cover our program costs. Your contribution to Community Health Network Foundation’s infant hospice campaign can eliminate this financial need.
Your gift to the Community Health Network Hospice Fund is an investment in helping Noah’s legacy continue by providing family support, comfort and hope for other infants and their families. This fundraising campaign is the financial cornerstone for our infant hospice program and the core of our ability to fulfill the unmet, delicate needs of our tiniest patients.
Your gift will help provide financial resources needed to continue a full continuum of hospice care. Your gift today creates a foundation of future growth and stability. Every life is precious and each day of life—even before birth—is a gift to be honored and treasured. Your support will help provide this care throughout the limited lives of these babies. You have the opportunity to help families manage medical treatment and navigate the bereavement journey.
Will you answer the call?
Please make a gift to support the Infant Hospice Campaign.