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Featured Family: Alana Else

What event triggered you applying for assistance? Premature birth, NICU stay

Why did you apply for assistance? The hospital social worker shared the foundation information with me as I was in the L&D recovery room. Before then, I was having anxiety over how we were going to work out finances knowing that our son was going to have a lengthy NICU stay after being delivered 6 weeks early. My husband did not have any PTO as he had just started his job and we were not financially prepared to have our so arrive so soon.

What assistance did you receive? Delinquent partial home property tax payment

Explain what this help meant to you. What effect did it have on your family short-term and long-term? Short-term we no longer had to worry about our late home property tax payment that was now overdue by over a month. We’d been struggling financially prior to our son’s arrival due to my multiple hospital trips regarding pregnancy concerns. Long-term this help prevented us from having any issues with the city regarding our property taxes as they were paid by the Colette Foundation. It was one bill out of a long list of other financial obligations that we no longer needed to stress over.

If you had not gotten the help you did, what would that have meant for your family? Our home property tax would likely continued to have been delinquent for quite a while, racking up late fees along the way. We were planning to apply for a local grant to assist with bringing our home up to code, but would not be eligible unless our property taxes were in good standing.

Tell us as much as you want to share about your family’s story. My husband and I had a miscarriage with our first baby back in August 2020, the next day our home and town were hit by the Derecho storm. It took us quite a while to bounce back from the pain of losing our baby and seeing the destruction of our town. We got pregnant with our rainbow baby a couple months later. My pregnancy started having complications beginning at 24 weeks when I began to get these horrible migraines– unfortunately, my concerns regarding my pregnancy such as various symptoms that I know know were the start of Preeclampsia developing, small belly, and lack of major fetal movements, were all brushed off by my midwife as “normal pregnancy aches and pains and my placenta was dulling baby’s movements”. At 33 weeks, I had a sudden bleed but was sent home despite having some abnormal labs. Later that same week, I was hospitalized for Preeclampsia and we were hopeful that I could deliver at 37 weeks. The Preeclampisa became severe so after the 4 steroid shots, I delivered my son, John “Jack” on May 10th at 4:01 p.m. — we were told he’d have a relatively short stay in the NICU but would be the biggest baby in the there. In the operating room, I vaguely remember hearing “Oh, he’s small…” and a nurse asking my husband if we had known he’d be so small, of course we didn’t. Jack was born via C-Section weighing 1250 grams, or 2 lbs 12 oz at 33 6/7 weeks. We are told that he was growth restricted (IGUR) due to placental insufficiency due to the preeclampsia. I’d always had a feeling that there was something not quite right with my pregnancy and looking back, I should have advocated for the both of us more, been more