LAFAYETTE — Inside the NICU at Our Lady of Lourdes, several families were recently surprised with a basket of goodies. These families came to Lafayette after they evacuated from Lake Charles due to Hurricane Laura.
"We pretty much did not sleep the entire night the hurricane hit," Madison Guidry said.
Guidry and her husband left Lake Charles three days before Laura's landfall and headed to Dallas. They were forced to leave their six and a half week old daughter, Isla Rose, on the sixth floor on a Lake Charles hospital in the NICU.
"I didn't hear anything until about 8 am the next morning. One of the nurses, they reached out and let me know they made it through the night."
One week later Guidry was reunited with her baby girl, who was born nine weeks early and weighed less than 3 pounds at birth, at Our Lady of Lourdes Women's and Children's Hospital in Lafayette.
"The second we got to the NICU at Lourdes, we saw her, both my husband and I just started crying because it felt like seeing her for the first time," Guidry explained.
Nurses at the hospital immediately partnered with the Grey Effect Foundation, creating baskets of goodies for the families. The basket is full of baby essentials like diapers, shampoo, onesies, and even the bonus of a device used to lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
"I'm grateful to receive that, knowing when we go home we will have something to track her oxygen and heart rate when she sleeps," said Guidry. "Since I already bought one, I plan to donate one to a NICU mother who wouldn't be able to afford one."
The Grey Effect Foundation, a non-profit out of Opelousas, is continuing to collect baby items to donate to other families like the Guidrys whose lives are forever changed by Laura.
"We know that things may seem normal back here in Lafayette, but they're not even close to being back to normal in Lake Charles," Kayla Simon said.
As for Guidry, she says her home may not be livable until next spring.
"I'm just taking it one day at a time and celebrating the small victories," Guidry said.
For more information on the Grey Effect Foundation, click here.