A compassionate 45-year-old NICU nurse gave a teen mom the opportunity to have a fresh start in life.
Just one verse each day.
We’re often told to not take our work home with us, but one NICU nurse felt compelled to help a young mom in need.
As part of her job as a neonatal nurse in the intensive care unit at the Community Hospital North in Indianapolis, Katrina Mullen has helped comfort many parents as their tiny newborns are cared for. But when she met 14-year-old Shariya Small, she noticed how the young mom of triplets was totally alone as she watched her very premature babies fight for their lives.
Small gave birth to her three children, Serenitee, Samari, and Sarayah, when she was just 26 weeks pregnant. Each child weighed less than two pounds, and the babies were only able to leave the hospital after five months.
During their prolonged treatment, Mullen noticed that the eighth-grade mom was receiving no support from other family members. The nurse offered her help to a reluctant Small. But when she explained to Small that she, too, had been a teen mom, and actually gave her child up for adoption, there was a shift it their relationship.
Mullen gave Small her cellphone number and after the triplets were discharged, the pair began to chat on the phone. Yet even though the children were no longer in her care, Mullen couldn’t help but feel anxious for the young family.
She drove one hour to Kokomo, Indiana, where Small was staying with a relative, to check up on her. And as she shared with Today, the conditions were alarming: “It was not a place for her to raise babies.”
In fact one of the triplets, Samari, who’d been born with digestive problems, had been diagnosed with “failure to thrive,” meaning that his physical growth had stalled.
She’d like to come live with you …
The Department of Social Services was then involved and contacted Mullen, who explained: “The caseworker said that Shariya and her babies were being removed from their home and then she goes, ‘Shariya said she’d like to come live with you. Would you be willing?'”
Despite having three children still at home — SeQuayvion, 16, ShaKovon, 14, and JJ, seven — and Sevonté, 23, and Shai, 22, who are independent, Mullen gladly opened her doors to the young family.
After fostering all the children for 668 days, Mullen officially adopted Small in February.
Thanks to the nurse’s extraordinary generosity and compassion, the young mom is hoping to become a social worker and help others in the future.