Community Rallies Behind Football Coach and Family
Cal-Mum teacher and varsity football coach John Walther constantly tells his team that the two things that come before football are family and faith. This summer, just as football season is getting underway, Walther is living that lesson.
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"The doctors took a look at her and said we need to get these babies out right away,” said John Walther.
On Friday, July 13th, at a hospital in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, Isabella Grace was born weighing one pound, 14 ounces. At 1:29 a.m., Mason John was born, weighing two pounds, one ounce.
"I had never seen or held a baby that was under two pounds. It’s crazy, their skin is translucent, you can pretty much see through them. It was a little overwhelming at first. Lot of things you get used to in the NICU here."
John said the twins were immediately transferred to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center's Brenner Children's Hospital. Because their lungs weren't fully developed, they've been on respirators, ventilators, and a number of other machines designed to help their growth.
"It’s crazy if you think about it, we’re watching the last three months of our children’s development that should've been happening in the womb outside in front of our eyes."
What’s the hardest part about the situation?
"Really, just everything’s unknown. You’re not sure when you come in how they’re going to be doing and basically just being away from home."
John said Isabella and Mason won't be able to travel for at least another month. But even if they're ready, it'll take a special air ambulance and medical team to transport them home. It's an expensive ride that insurance won't cover.
Friends and family have started a 'Bring the Babies Home' fundraising campaign on sites like Facebook and Indiegogo.com
"It’s amazing the support we’ve had from family and friends at home it’s really overwhelming."
Though they're 600 miles from home, John and Diana say faith and family get them through each day of watching their preemies fight for their lives.
"They’re both heading in the right direction. They’re tough."
Click here to donate to the online fundraiser.
Click here to connect on Facebook.
Donations may be mailed to:
Bring the Babies Home,
c/o Bank of Castile,
3155 State Street, Caledonia, NY 14423
The Walther's friends and family have also organized a “Bring the Babies Home Community Night” from 6-9 p.m. on August 24th in Caledonia.
Four Corners Ministry Center,
4277 Caledonia-Avon Road, Caledonia, NY 14423
Tickets may be purchased through Vicki James, email@example.com
$20 for adults,
$10 for students,
Free for 12 and under
Donations of food and baskets for the event are also being accepted