July 2021 – Preemie Support

Organization: Today is a Good Day
Founder: Martha and Paul Sharkey
Established: 2014
Outreach: National
Website: https://www.todayisagoodday.org/

Today is a Good Day provides personal and financial support for any family who experiences the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

In July 2010, Martha and Paul Sharkey were thrilled to learn they were pregnant and starting a family. A few weeks later, they discovered their new family would be growing by two. Their identical twin girls were due March 8, 2011. The pregnancy was moving along as planned until November 2010. Something didn’t feel right. Martha was admitted to the hospital at 23 weeks and 0 days. She would not be leaving the hospital until her girls were born. Martha was able to stay on bedrest for 5 days before Claire Josephine and Mary Gladys arrived over 16 weeks early on November 14, 2010. Learning very quickly of the poor prognosis for babies born at 23 weeks of a 40-week gestation period, Martha and Paul entered the world of parenthood feeling extremely unprepared. They had no idea how to parent in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The tubes, the machines, the ventilator, and the meds were all foreign to these new parents. The fear, the uncertainty, and the new world of medical terminology are all foreign. The Sharkeys experienced the roller coaster of the NICU intimately over their 103-day journey. Mary Gladys earned her wings after two weeks in the NICU. They welcomed Claire Josephine home February 25 after 103 days in the NICU.

Following their extended stay in the NICU, they recognized a gap in care for parents during the NICU journey. The babies are taken incredible care of by the doctors, nurses, and medical professionals. However, many parents are faced with making extremely difficult and life-changing decisions on behalf of their child. The parents’ experience is often described as an emotional roller coaster. Through Today is a Good Day, families are encouraged to keep taking their journeys “One Day at a Time” and to celebrate the good days and the good moments with their babies. Whether a family is in the NICU for a few days, several months, or longer, it is never planned and is a very challenging time. Today is a Good Day helps families recognize they are not alone, listen to their concerns, and provide resources to help them during their NICU journey.

We manage three main programs at Today is a Good Day, delivering Care Packages, hosting Navigate the NICU Sessions, and providing Direct Financial Support. You can find more details here: https://www.todayisagoodday.org/our-programs