10th Annual NICU Small Wonders Walk: Champion Family Celebrates and Remembers Children

Join us this year as we celebrate, remember and walk for the children and families of our Neonatal Critical Care Unit (NCCU) at this year’s 10th Annual NICU Small Wonders Miracle Walk.  The event, which will take place on Saturday,  September 24th, hosts a wide variety of family fun activities including a concert by Julie K, delicious food, silent auction and much more!

From left: Hayden, Robin, Brian and Ava Snyder

Champion family, Robin and Brian Snyder share their story as they celebrate and remember their children at this year’s miracle walk.

Faced with reproductive challenges in 2003, Robin and Brian required medical assistance to conceive. Prayers were answered and that same year the couple found themselves expecting not one but five children.

Living in Indiana and pregnant with quintuplets the couple made the decision to pack up their lives and move back to Robin’s hometown of  Morton, Illinois.

“I knew the second we found out we were pregnant that we needed support from my family. We had no idea what was in store for us and what would happen in only a few short weeks,” Robin said.

Surrounded by loved ones and settled into their new home they began selecting a team of caregivers.  Dr. Leonardi of the Maternal & Fetal clinic at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, IL worked closely with them; explaining outcomes, answering questions and overseeing all of Robin’s medical care. Then at 18 weeks, Robin was put on bed rest when one of the babies water broke.

Two weeks later, at 20 weeks, Robin delivered her first son Gabriel who lived for only a few precious hours.  At 21 weeks she delivered Elliot, who like his brother Gabriel, was too young to survive.

Robin delivered her three other children by emergency c-section and at 24 weeks and 4 days, they welcomed Miles, Ada and Hayden into the world.  All three were immediately admitted to the NICU where they received what Robin explains as the best medical care imaginable.

“When I was in the hospital I will never forget the doctor that came and talked to me for hours one day, not about the kids necessarily but about life. That has always stayed with me.”

Miles, plagued with brain bleeds and seizures, was only able to hold on for a month before passing on.  His siblings Hayden and Ava suffered from medical complications as well, but were sent home one at a time months later.

Today, 12 year-old Hayden and Ava are happy and full of life.  Hayden, who struggled more than his sister while in the NICU, has mild cerebral palsy, ADHD and developmental delays as well as seizures.  Still, Robin says they are thankful every day and  are filled with pride as they watch him grow and reach new milestones in his own, special ways.

Hayden and Ava

Ava and Hayden Snyder

hayden and Ava at NICU pg

Hayden and Ava at NICU Small Wonders Walk

“You hear a story like ours and you think that’s heartbreaking, but until you actually lived through it there’s no way to comprehend what these women go through.”

Originally an elementary school teacher, Robin was forever changed by the time she spent in the antepartum, labor and delivery and NICU units at the hospital.

“I remember being on bed-rest and receiving all this wonderful care and I had this ‘ah-hah’ moment where I thought, I want to change lives like this.”

Currently Robin is a NICU Supervisor at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center where she is inspired daily to serve with the greatest care and love. She has given back in many ways; serving on the family advisory board, advocating within the community and bringing the idea for the NICU Small Wonders Walk to the area over ten years ago.

Champions in every sense of the word, Robin and her husband remain an inspiration and testament to the power of love.

At OSF Healthcare Foundation we are thankful for passionate individuals willing to advocate for others, who in their time of need require support and guidance. We are blessed to have Champion families, like the Snyders who continue to spread awareness about all of the services at Children’s Hospital of Illinois.

If you are interested in being a part of the NICU Small Wonders Walk and making a difference click here to register online and learn more!



Posted on August 3, 2016 at 8:51 am

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