What a chair can do: Hand to Hold, an Austin family and the Kangaroo Chair

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Teddy Boyd tries out the Kangaroo chair with father Nick.

Teddy Boyd tries out the Kangaroo chair with father Nick at the Ronald McDonald House Family Room at Seton Medical Center on Tuesday.

When Teddy Boyd was born on Nov. 13, he was two months earlier than his parents, Maggie and Nick Boyd, were expecting. After 51-days in the neonatal intensive care unit at Seton Medical Center, Teddy went home to grateful parents.

This afternoon, the Boyds shared their gratitude with the staff at Seton by presenting a Kangaroo Chair by IOA Healthcare Furniture, as part of the Hand to Hold National NICU Grand Prize Giveaway.

Hand to Hold, an Austin-based nonprofit that supports and provides resources to families of children born prematurely or with special health care needs or who have lost a baby because of these reasons, held the contest for the second year. The family that raised the most donations to Hand to Hold would be present the NICU of their choosing with the gift of the chair, medical grade Boppy nursing pillows and sets of The Zaky, weighted pillows that look like hands that hold a parent’s scent and can help keep a premature baby resting in a good position. The NICU also gets Hand to Hold’s library of resources to give to families. It’s a more than $5,000 donation.

IMG_2415What’s the big deal about a chair, a Boppy and The Zaky? The Boyds and Kelli Kelley, founder of Hand to Hold, shared that in the NICU parents are always trying to get there first to get the “good chair.” It’s the one comfortable chair to nurse or hold their baby, who also might need three nurses to handle all the wires when he’s being moved.

The chair, Kelley says, is trying to “normalize the situation that is so not normal. You take for granted holding and rocking a baby. You think it’s so normal.”

Seton previously had five chairs, but none of them as comfortable as the Kangaroo Chair.

“This is your home away from home,” Kelley says. “It’s such a medical setting. The smallest things can make a huge difference.”

The Boyds, who have used Hand to Hold’s online resources, raised about $2,500 from donations from family and friends. “Everyone jumped in,” Nick Boyd says.

“Everyone was asking, ‘How can I help?'” Maggie Boyd says. “This is a good way to do that.”

Hand to Hold has been a valuable resource to the family as Teddy grows into a healthy baby. “No one can really understand unless they’ve gone through it themselves,” Maggie Boyd says.

You can read more about Hand to Hold in my profile about the nonprofit here.

You can read the Boyd’s story they submitted to Hand to Hold here.

Look on the Hand to Hold website, handtohold.org, in February for the next Hand to Hold National NICU Grand Prize Giveaway.


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