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Northwell Health Walk raises a record $1 million and brings bright futures to women and kids

Kathleen with Clementine at the Northwell Health Walk at Jones Beach

“We went for our anatomical ultrasound thinking we’re going to find out the gender of our baby,” says Kathleen, who was cared for at Katz Women’s Hospital at Long Island Jewish Medical Center.

Instead she and her husband, Mark, heard, “I’m very sorry, but your baby has about a 10 percent chance of surviving the weekend.”

“The whole world just went blank for me.”

Support for mother and baby after a devastating diagnosis

The doctor explained that baby Clementine had hydrops, a collection of fluid, in her chest and abdomen. “There was no medical intervention they could offer us to make sure she stayed with us,” says Kathleen.

Further testing revealed Clementine had Down syndrome and a heart defect.

quotation mark “That moment right there — it was like, ‘Our team has this.’ That moment was just pure joy.”
Kathleen

“Everyone was so supportive,” says Kathleen, of their care team from the Katz Institute for Women’s Health and Cohen Children’s Medical Center. “The patient navigator took the reins, coordinating doctors and finding specialists and trying to schedule these appointments when I didn’t even know my own name.”

After a fetal echocardiogram at Cohen Children’s, “Dr. Denise Hayes gave us the most amazing words we have ever heard: ‘Clementine’s hydrops are not coming from the heart defect,’” says Kathleen. If the hydrops cleared up, they could repair Clementine’s heart.

“That moment right there — it was like, ‘Our team has this.’ That moment was just pure joy.”

Giving baby Clementine a strong start for life

Kathleen went into “protective mode,” to get Clementine closer to her due date. An ultrasound showed the fluid was almost gone.

At 38 weeks, Clementine was born with neonatal intensive care and cardiology teams on hand. Vincent Parnell, MD, surgeon in chief and chief of Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery at Cohen Children’s, later performed open heart surgery on baby Clementine.

Baby Clementine today at 4 1/2 years old.

“Every single doctor that we have seen has loved on our child, every nurse, everybody,” says Kathleen. “Today, I have a 4 ½ year-old who’s just this bright and shiny, crazy little person, and it all started from an ultrasound that could have just gone so differently if it was anywhere else.”

Walking for the health of others

The 2019 Northwell Health Walk took place at three locations — Jones Beach, East End Long Island and Staten Island with more than 6,000 walkers and donors raising a record total of $1 million.

Kathleen and Mark shared their story with thousands of walkers at Jones Beach, and expressed gratitude for the care Kathleen received at the Katz Institute for Women’s Health and that Clementine received at Cohen Children’s. Funds raised for the Jones Beach location support the Innovation Grant Program at Katz Institute for Women’s Health and the purchase of the latest generation echocardiogram machine at Cohen Children’s Medical Center, providing children like Clementine with superior diagnostic cardiac care.

Kathleen and Mark with their two daughters at the Northwell Health Walk at Jones Beach


 

Northwell Health Walk took place at three locations — Jones Beach, East End Long Island and Staten Island with more than 6,000 walkers and donors raising a record total of $1 million

Funds raised for the Staten Island walk support the Gruppuso Family Women and Newborn Center at Staten Island University Hospital and the East End walk supports cardiac services and women’s wellness initiatives at Peconic Bay Medical Center.

Kathleen personally knows that walkers and donors make a difference: “You’re giving these babies and these children, bright futures to look forward to, and you’re giving the parents so much peace of mind — it’s a priceless gift.”

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