Sammy's StorySammy is a true medical miracle! Sammy is not my biological son. I know the deep piercing bond a son from my womb can bring. I love my Sammy just as deeply.Sammy was born a full four months early at the fragile weight of 17 ounces when his birthmother's placenta burst due to her addiction to methamphetamine s and landed her in the hospital. When he tested positive for methamphetamines, Sammy was taken into the custody of Children's Services; his mother's rights suspended until she tested negative for the drug. His premature delivery meant his organs were not developed enough to sustain his life. His lungs were so underdeveloped; he couldn't take his first breath. His brain and nervous system were so undeveloped they couldn't remind him he even needed one. He survived for the next 14 months in the hospital under the care of medical personnel utilizing mechanical ventilation and IV drips, while he fought his mother's drug addiction. He rapidly produced hundreds of hemangiomas on the outside of his body and thousands more on the inside that impeded the natural function of all his organs. This subjected him to several years of chemotherapy.To the amazement of hospital staff, he endured seven abdominal surgeries and survived four close-call resuscitations. Sammy was continually pricked with needles. He was so troubled he slept sitting up. Afraid to relax into dreamland, he posed for his next onslaught of cold painful medical procedures delivered by sterile hands and blue scrubs. (see Photo at web site http://www.angelainwaitingUSA.org)Against extraordinary odds, Sammy continued to fight for his life, alone, without the emotional support of a nurturing mother. The severity of his illness and grim prognosis prompted doctors to request a Do Not Resuscitate Form be signed by the appointed court judge. Thankfully, the judge refused, and Sammy continued to make use of the hospital's personnel heroic resuscitation efforts. Miraculously, and to the continued amazement of the nurses, therapists and physicians charged with his care, he stabilized enough to be discharged from the hospital.He was placed in a group home for medically fragile children where he was able to bond with other children who were fighting incredible fights of their own (see Alexia's Story from our web site). Six months later, after a long career in child care, the owner of the group home was to retire. She was frightened that if Sammy ended up in the local institution he was slated for, he would shrivel and die.She called me on Thanksgiving Day when she'd heard I was a veteran NICU and pediatric nurse and now certified as a medically fragile foster parent. Convinced Sammy wouldn't make it without a vital infusion of love and heartfelt dedication, she urged me to take him into my home. Several days later, he crossed the threshold of my doorway and into my heart, infusing me with the wonder of his survival.In less than three years, Sammy has moved from indwelling catheters, feeding tubes and numerous daily medications to being tube and medication free. He is a brilliant, cognitively gifted and active seven year old boy
who enjoys and celebrates,every aspect of his precious life Sammy has an exceptionally gentle soul.In 2007, my husband and I adopted Sammy, securing his promising future and enriching our lives beyond the expectations we mused over when we started this journey of safe-housing tender souls.Sammy is doing Wonderful he will turn 8 years old on the 31, He is Happy and Healthy.There are so many other little boys and girls just like Sammy. While we cannot adopt all of the little Sammy's in waiting, we have opened our home to heal as many and love as many as we can and help them move on to loving homes of their own; and so the birth of Angels in Waiting and our determination to affect as many lives as possible.Thanks for reading.Linda West Conforti RN ( Sammy's mommy)Founder, Angels in Waitingwww.angelsinwaitingUSA.org
Thank you for “Helping Save A Childhood”
The futures of our ANGELS IN WAITING program and the medically fragile foster care infants and children that we “Serve” is growing. We recently presented two large government grants to National Institute of Health, and recruited several more Nurses; moreover, we have over 10 Nurses waiting in the wings to be Foster parents for medically fragile foster care infants and children.
This means that many more medically fragile foster care children will have a childhood. These precious infants and children will benefit from having their own skilled Nurse as their foster parent. AIW Nurses make sure that their foster care infants and children’s best interests are well represented in the court, health care settings, and in the Department of Family and Children Services.
We are grateful to all our donors who have helped make this possible. Here are just a handful of the e-mails to Angels In Waiting from Nurses thought-out this Great Nation of ours…
Norwell, MA 02061
Comments = I would LOVE to be involved with your organization and
eventually become a foster Mom. I have been a NICU Nurse for 14 years and
have 3 children of my own. We have lots of room in our home and in our
hearts for another child / children. Please let me know how I may help.
bybee, TN 37713
Comments = I am an LPN with vent, mental retardations, cerebral palsy,
downs syndromes, deaf and blind experience and my husband and I have finished
our PATH classes and are wanting to adopt a medically fragile child/sibling
group. Our home study is complete and we are located in Tennessee. Thank you for showing us nurses this venue of caring for America’s special needs pediatric population from the comforts of our own home, God bless your Charity, and the children it serves.
Pueblo West, CO 81007
Comments = Would your program have a need for me even though I live in Colorado? Or could we start a satellite of your program here? Thanks
My name is Eric, I am a RN and a father of 2 little girls in Indiana. Ever since the birth of my first daughter, and recently my second - I am now of course a over protective father. :) The realization that the world can be cruel, especially to our infants and children, is so disturbing to me. My heart hurts to see other little ones in pain. I am writing because I stumbled across your site. And I wanted to say thank you for your compassion and god bless you for helping the forgotten little ones. I just wanted to say thank you with all my heart and let you know someone is thinking of you and your company today…One day, I too will be caring for medically fragile foster care infants and children from my home (once my daughters are older) you inspired my nursing career into this noble calling. Sincerely, Eric < > RN
Thank You For Helping Save a childhood!
Linda West- Conforti RN
Founder of Angels In Waiting
To Our Loyal and Dedicated Supporters,
In 2009, Within LA County Alone, More Than 268 Infants and Children Died in Foster Care, How Many More “Angels” Must We Send Back To Heaven?
Due to the shocking fact in the above statement, the founder of Angels In Waiting, Linda West- Conforti RN urgently sought the help from a well-known legal advocate for foster children within LA County. The activist was Linda Wallace- Pate, an Attorney at law who has represented foster children in LA County for over four decades. After she was privy to LA county's death toll for foster care infants and children. We quickly joined forces, and met with key people within the community to address these shocking statistics. Too many of these foster care infants, and children who were passed back into heaven, were special needs infants and children, these angels were placed into inappropriate foster homes, their foster parents were poorly trained and ill- equipped to address their special needs. They resided in neighborhoods that were greatly underserved by available county resources due to the new budget restraints. If Angels In Waiting’s Nurse program would have been utilized in LA County, the number of dead foster care infants and children would have been drastically reduced. Linda West -Conforti and Linda Wallace- Pate approached, UCLA, Charles Drew University and CDU School of Nursing with our lifesaving and innovative nursing outreach program. Both UCLA and Charles Drew University are now seeking federal grants, to implement our Angels In Waiting Nursing Recruitment Program into their community to address the dire needs of their forgotten population of foster care infants and children who reside in their own backyard.
Please, continue to support our noble cause. Furthermore, please place our widget from Global Giving's website onto your social networking site to help support our cause. For our goal is to implement our lifesaving program throughout our nation. Please, Together We Can Save Countless Childhoods" by promoting Angels In Waiting's Widgets.
“How many angels must we pass back to heaven, when on this earth we can help transform their precious lives today?
Linda West –Conforti RN
Due to our economic adversity, premature births are on the rise. Many of our foster care infants are delivered early due to maternal drug exposure and failed abortion attempts by young mothers barely out of childhood themselves. This new population of tiny ones begins their lives in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units of hospitals across America. Our goal is to bring awareness, education and forever loving homes to these little angels.
When the mother and/or infant test positive for illicit drugs, the infant is placed into child protective custody and enters into the Foster Care System.
As the tiny ones battle for their life with undeveloped organs, they are also going through brutal drug withdrawal. The constant poking with needles to draw blood and IV starts does not convey a warm and fuzzy beginning to life. Many preemies will have a four to six month course in NICU, never knowing whether they're being picked up to be fed or poked for some other painful procedure.
They benefit greatly from a nurturing home environment with knowledgeable Nurses once their hospital stay is over, but need tremendous amounts of love to overcome their memories of the distress necessary to save their lives.
Angels in Waiting is dedicated to moving these special little angels into loving homes with Registered Nurses as their foster parents and then on to adoptive homes in which they could grow and continue to flourish; their troubled pasts overshadowed by their potentially bright futures.
Angels in Waiting understands the proper course of treatment required by enhancing the cognitive, behavioral and psychological outcome of medically fragile and drug exposed foster preemies and infants. With the proper funding for Nurse Recruitments and educational programs, the attainment of that goal can be significantly accomplished.
Please help us if you can. I believe in a new spirit of helping America’s infants and children, "the most unfortunate among us" is re-awakening in America. Our noble foundation could use your help. Angels In Waiting has a growing network of dedicated nurses (35+) throughout California. Because of your gracious donations during these troubling times, Angels in Waiting (AIW) has expanded into other states throughout America. These dedicated Nurses offer vital love and support to America’s forgotten medically fragile foster care infants and children.
Please check out the newly published children's book called “The Wish.” Our “Angels” in waiting foster care infants and children are the inspiration for this story. The Wish represents the emotions and desires of our abused, abandoned and forgotten foster care infants and children who have touched the lives and hearts of the Nurses who care for them. Our hope is that the irresistibly cute, lovable characters evoke sympathy as well as empathy for those less fortunate than ourselves, and desire to help the helpless. The moral of the story imparts hope, understanding, and the acceptance of our differences. Please check out the first edition family approved “Dove Awarded” children's book called “The Wish” on our website. WWW.angelsinwaitingUSA.org
We realize money is tight, and the vast majority of American’s do not have any unessential funds… If you can't donate money now, you could give some of your time to cast the net of awareness with an email to your friends and family. Angels in Waiting foundation truly helps save childhoods by moving America’s foster care infants and children from our CPS Offices, hospitals, group homes and nursing institutions into the homes of Register Nurses who nurture, heal and advocate for them- in the hospital's, classrooms and in Family Courtrooms across America. AIW helps to save a child and ensure a childhood by ending the child's time in the Foster Care System; finds permanent homes for them; and paves the way to better lives with continued resources for America’s vulnerable little ones.
Because of America’s growing economic crisis, job layoffs and housing foreclosures, too many of America's precious infant's and children are becoming medically fragile at the hands of their parents. Now, more than ever, America's foster care infants and children need your compassion and support. Thank you for your continued support of Angels in Waiting and your dedication to improving the lives of America’s foster children. Feel free to tell your friends about Angels in Waiting and their incredible work and please check out their precious and beautifully illustrated children's book.
Linda West-Conforti RN
A NOTE FROM GLOBALGIVING:
This is the second in a series of snapshots about project leader Linda Conforti and her organization Angels in Waiting.
Thank you for your continued support of Linda and her tireless dedication to improving the lives of America’s foster children. We ask you to contribute again today! Feel free to tell your friends about Linda and her incredible work!
An Extraordinary Nurse Versus An Ordinary Nurse
Linda Conforti has been a neonatal and pediatric intensive care nurse for over 25 years. Over her career she has noticed an alarming increase of methamphetamine use among pregnant women, resulting in infants being born prematurely. Sadly, many birth mothers abandon their babies who are fighting for their lives in neonatal intensive care units across the country.
In 2005, Linda decided that she was going to become the voice for these souls and recruit nurses to take them into their homes, heal them, adopt them, or find adoptive homes for them.
“In high school I took a course … called medical occupations,” says Linda. “There was a nurse who taught that class. She inspired me to become an extraordinary nurse versus an ordinary nurse.”
Linda established Angels in Waiting with the goal to pair compassionate, capable, and trained nurses with medically fragile foster care infants and children and provide them with a loving, safe, and nurturing environment.
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