Places & Faces
Holden’s Hope
3/1/2019 12:00:00 AM


"He made it in time to see me before the surgery began.” Stine says of her husband, Garrett. "I can only imagine the feelings he must have felt as we were at the mercy of God and this medical team.” Stine was diagnosed with placenta previa early in her pregnancy, but it was discovered around weeks 10-12 of the pregnancy that she was also suffering from placenta acreta and placenta percreta, which occur when the placenta penetrates through the uterine wall and attaches to another organ. This incredibly rare complication made the pregnancy life-threatening and meant that she would lose her fertility with the surgery to deliver their son. Stine survived and passed her fighting spirit on to Holden. 

"The special thing with Holden is that he always triumphed over the predicted outcomes that lay before him,” says Stine. Holden was a patient at Lafayette General for five months before being transported to Ochsner Baptist PICU, and finally to Texas Children’s Hospital. He spent his life in the hospital, but he never stopped fighting. "It was amazing and difficult all at the same time to see our baby born so early. Weighing only one pound, 15 ounces, the fear for our baby was relentless. And despite mourning the loss of what should be a very blissful time in life, we turned to our faith and we know it was only through our faith that we obtained the perseverance and strength to focus on the joys. Holden defied the odds of his birth complications. He pushed to his limit and he lived every day with a huge smile on his face. Holden would be five years old this year. Not a day goes by that we do not think about what he would look like now and how much fun he would be having with his family. And while we grieve in this life without him, we know that the suffering is steadily grinding out the imperfections of our souls. Hope anchors our souls.” 

After losing Holden two days before his first birthday, the Stine family decided to make beauty from the ashes of their trials and support others going through similar circumstances. They founded an organization called Holden’s Hope, a Louisiana-based non-profit whose mission is to support families of children who have long medical stays in the hospital and families coping with miscarriages, stillbirths, or the loss of an infant. Holden’s Hope provides support for NICU unit successes in the form of equipment for comforting babies, gas cards for families traveling long distances to see their babies, volunteer holding program initiatives and development, and loss of life support with funeral and burial assistance.

"We are advocates for families,” Stine says. The amount of stress, mental energy, expense of care, and pressure parents feel in these situations is a heavy burden. We assist families during some of their darkest hours and simply knowing there is an organization in the community like Holden’s Hope and knowing that there are others who can relate to their loss is a comfort.”
If you’re interested in helping their cause, the annual Holden’s Hope Forever 5K and 1 Mile run will be held on April 13 in Walnut Grove. To donate or to apply for assistance, you can visit www.holdenshopeforver.org. Hospital social workers also refer families to the organization.
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