“Emerson means ‘brave and powerful,’ and she is nothing short of that,” say Emerson’s parents, Kristen and Tyler.

When Emerson was born, at first everything seemed normal. “My pregnancy and delivery had no complications. Emerson was breathtaking from the moment we laid eyes on her. From her blonde hair, beautiful blue eyes and unique personality, she stole hearts.”

But as they soon learned, Emerson has a rare, medically complex genetic disorder. A cleft palate, digestive problems, hearing and vision issues, foot deformity, seizures, developmental delays and mobility problems are just some of Emerson’s challenges.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals was involved from the beginning, when Emerson spent her first 25 days in Gundersen’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. “They provided meal vouchers for the Cafeteria so we could stay close to our baby. Meal vouchers may not seem like much but take it from a sleep-deprived mom who could not recall the last time she ate a hot meal…meal vouchers are heaven!” Kristen recalls. “A gas card also helped us with frequent trips—about 30 miles each way—to the hospital and medical appointments.”

CMN Hospitals has also helped with a variety of other items including adaptive seating, a harness, a device to protect Emerson’s feeding-tube, transportation, and help offsetting the cost of some medication.

“CMN Hospital continues to be by our side. To have a financial burden lifted off our shoulders is a huge blessing. Beyond the financial support, they have given us emotional support during a difficult time in our lives,” explain Emerson’s parents.

Emerson’s family are thankful for the many lessons Emerson has shown them. Her mother says, “Emerson teaches us to love and laugh, to have compassion, to fight for inclusion, to be strong and, most of all, to be kind. We have learned not to worry about the ‘what ifs,’ but to be in the present and enjoy Emerson for the unique gift that she is.

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