They say you never know how you’re going to react in a situation, until you’re actually in that situation. Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine that my family and I would be where we are right now.
In early June 2017, we started noticing something wasn’t quite right with our newborn son, Noah. Thanks to our well-educated visiting nurse from Neighborhood Connections, I was convinced to take Noah to the Emergency Room at Dartmouth. I expected to spend a few hours there and go home with some easy-to-manage thing. Unfortunately, an MRI lead to findings that kept us overnight at the hospital, and upon further examination over the weekend, it was determined that Noah has an extremely rare genetic bone disorder called Osteopetrosis [os-tee-oh-pi-TROH-sis].
This diagnosis sent Noah to Boston Children’s Hospital for a Bone Marrow Transplant, and I have been staying at the hospital with him. My husband and 3 year old daughter have been at home in Londonderry, trying to live a somewhat “normal” life. Thanks to Neighborhood Connections’ help with gas for the car, bus tickets, and hotel assistance, Daddy & Big Sister have been able to visit us in Boston a few times.
The social worker at Neighborhood Connections has also helped my husband manage the household bills so that we can “keep our heads above water” so to speak. I have not been working since Noah was born in February and am on an “extended maternity leave” while in Boston, so we are relying solely on my husband’s income to support us. Neighborhood Connections has either put us in contact with the right people to help us in our situation, have made the contacts on our behalf, or have helped directly when possible.
Noah is receiving his Bone Marrow Transplant on July 26, 2017 (his 5 month birthday), and hopefully we’ll be home before the end of September. Being away from home is difficult, but I have a little peace of mind knowing that Neighborhood Connections is there to help when possible. I can’t thank them enough for the generous assistance they’ve been able to provide us, and I’m thankful that something like Neighborhood Connections exists to help our community when they can.
Renee, Jeremy, Alyssa, and Noah Smith
Written 7/25/17 by Renee-Marie Smith – used with her permission.
8/4/17 – update
Noah did receive his transplant on 7/26/17. He’s currently in the ICU unit at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Neighborhood Connections is holding its annual Chocolate Cheese Chili Festival fund raiser on 8/7/17 at the Landgrove Inn. Please consider attending and/or making a donation. Along with the obvious chocolate, cheese, & chili there will be a raffle and a silent auction. There will be many wonderful prizes including two 3 day/3 night vacations for a family of 4 at Smugglers’ Notch Resort in northern Vermont. These vacation packages (worth approximately $2400 each!) may be used for summer, winter, or fall until 10/15/18, non-holiday dates. Packages were donated by Vermont.com to the silent auction specifically to show appreciation for the support Noah Smith and his family have received from Neighborhood Connections.