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How a Gloucester mother turned grief into giving after losing her newborn son

brooke everyday hero
Posted at 2:26 PM, Feb 14, 2023

NORFOLK, Va. — How does one find the words to comfort a parent who has buried a child?

One mom, who lost one of her twins shortly after birth, found a way to channel her grief in a productive way. Her positivity and generosity did not go unnoticed.

Brooke Schmidt experienced both happiness and suffering when she gave birth to twin babies. One of them, Isaiah Henry, was transferred to the Children’s Hospital of The King's Daughters shortly after birth. His little life would soon come to an end.

During the height of the pandemic, the space where she and the family said goodbye to Isaiah Henry was stark white, functional but not family-friendly. Not long after the death of her child, Brooke took action providing family care packages for new families who would use that space.

But she wanted to do more, and she did.

Partnering with CHKD, the spaces have been transformed. Now you will see whimsical décor, with butterflies and dandelions – replacing the white walls along with more comfortable seating.

“The vision for us was just to equip families and their babies in a comfortable space, in an awful time," said Brooke.

They’re known as bonding rooms, absent from the sound of medical monitors, a place where families can focus.

Brooke eventually turned Isaiah Henry’s legacy into a charity that provides support for families navigating infant loss of life in the NICU. She also provides support for the nursing staff.

For Brooke's generosity of spirit, she is deserving of this week's “News 3 Everyday Hero” award.