Local family shares their story hoping to bring home baby girl

NOW: Local family shares their story hoping to bring home baby girl

NEW BUFFALO, Mich. -- “All I hear is the surgeon saying what is that,” says Charissa Ostrom.  

An estimated 15 million babies are born prematurely every year – that is 1 in 10. In October of 2020, Charissa Ostrom went into preterm labor at 29 weeks. Within an instant, her life took an unexpected turn.

“They had taken out a bottle size tumor in my intestines, and I knew then it was not going to be good news,” says Ostrom.  

Doctors finding a large cancerous mass. An emergency c – section revealing stage 4 lymphoma cancer. Now, after treatment, Ostrom is cancer-free, and realizing her life was miraculously saved by another.

“If we would have waited even just a month or two, I probably would not have been here, Evelyn would not have been here,” says Ostrom.

It was sweet Evelyn who saved her mother’s life. Now, her mother fighting to do the same. Evelyn is 8 months old and has yet to leave the hospital. The Ostrom’s baby girl was diagnosed with a rare, genetic disorder called ‘Ohdo.’ Because of this, she needs an at-home nurse in order to be discharged from the neonatal intensive care unit.

“You just want to get your baby home,” says Ostrom. “When you have to wait five months to a year, just because you do not have a nurse, you do not have on nurse is stopping from bringing your child home for what could be up to one year.”

A nationwide nurse shortage is now the only thing keeping the new mom and her little girl apart.

“She is, she is our fighter for sure,” says Ostrom. “As a new mom, Evelyn is my first child, and with your first child you imagine being in the hospital for three days then do all of those firsts with her, I did not give her first bath until probably a few weeks ago is when I learned to give her first bath.”

For the duo, life so far has been a miracle. Now, Charissa Ostrom and her husband relying on their faith and community to help bring sweet Evelyn home.

“God is in control, he has a plan for all of us, he does work miracles and it is not in ways we see or happen. I can control my life but at the same time I have no control about what will happen, so I have to keep having faith and keep relying on my faith, on my family, my community and that is what got me through it,” says Ostrom.

Know a nurse who can help? You can reach Charissa via her personal Facebook page.  

Share this article: