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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Mom Has 2 Miscarriages as Preemie Son Fights For Life, Then Discovers 'Emma's Footprints'

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The fight for life is an ongoing one. For any mom or dad who has faced miscarriage, stillbirth or other related tragedies, you are not alone.

Veroniqca Kozel came to know this very truth following her own experience with pregnancy loss and pre-term birth.

Kozel’s son Brody got to know the NICU well after his birth. He would spend 15 months there before he ever saw the outside of a hospital.



“He was born only one pound and 1.9 ounces,” Kozel told The Times of Northwest Indiana. “He was considered a micro-preemie.”

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It was shortly after that time Kozel had two miscarriages during the second trimester. The grieving mom faced so much heartbreak, but there was a spark of light amidst her grief.

That spark was “Emma’s Footprints,” a non-profit organization based in Indiana that is “compassionately dedicated to supporting families with babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, as well as families who have experienced the loss of a baby from pregnancy through infancy.”

“I attended Emma’s Footprints first Wave of Light in 2016,” Kozel told The Times of Northwest Indiana. “That’s where I met Amelia.”

Do you know someone who could benefit from an organization like Emma's Footprints?

Amelia Kowalisin is the president and founder of “Emma’s Footprints.” She started the organization in 2015 in honor of her twin daughter, Emma Rose.

The sweet infant was just 23 days old when she passed. Kowalisin has made it her mission to support other parents and families who have faced similar crises.

Kozel knew “Emma’s Footprints” was something special and quickly became involved. Now she is the organization’s event coordinator and spends her days planning fundraisers and gatherings that support those in their community.

Most recently, Kozel coordinated the Mother’s Day Brunch, which has already sold out.

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“I love the Mother’s Day Brunch because it’s all about giving back, not fundraising,” Kozel said. “It’s centered around women and the similar struggle they’ve gone through.”

 

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Veroniqca L. Kozel – Board Member and Events Coordinator Veroniqca Kozel is a Registered Nurse with a Bachelors of Science degree in Nursing, from Valparaiso University. She is currently working as a pediatric RN in a local community hospital, as well as, an adjunct professor at a local community college. She is currently pursing a dual program degree, for a MSN in education and a APN degree in order to achieve her professional goal, of being an Acute Care FNP and full time educator. Veroniqca has 5 years of management experience, in addition to numerous years in leadership roles, which has provided her with the skills necessary for integral decision making, as well as, a strong capability for critical thinking, organization and planning, which is essential for her role in event coordination. Planning and executing rockstar events is her passion and joy! Education and communication are a clear focus for Veroniqca. One of her personal goals for Emma’s Footprints, is to become an advocate for female health, encouraging diversity and tolerance, in order to bring all women together and provide a voice for those who are unable to speak for themselves, being an inspiration cross culturally, as well as, making sure families, especially Mother’s feel supported, loved and most importantly not alone, in their heart break, in order to find strength and encouragement. Veroniqca and her husband Steven, have been married since 2002. They have a NICU warrior child, Brody Allan, who is their absolute delight and special miracle child. Born at 23 weeks, weighing a minute 1 pound, 1.9 ounces, Brody rushed into the world right into his parents hearts. After surviving 15 months in the NICU, Infant ICU and PICU, overcoming multiple trials and tribulations including being ventilator dependent with a tracheostomy, numerous hospitalizations and surgeries, struggles with moderate hearing loss, he can now be found swinging, riding his bike (tasks that were said to have been impossible for him to achieve) or following his Dad around, in an attempt to be just like him. This fighter is the epitome of preemie strong! Brody also has two beloved angle siblings, Maritza Alexandri

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“Planning and executing rockstar events is her (Kozel’s) passion and joy!” Emma’s Footprints shared on Instagram.

What an amazing story she has. This mom has taken her own grief and turned it into a way to relate to and love on other moms.

For more information on Emma’s Footprints or to donate, visit their website.

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Sarah Carri is an avid reader and social media guru with a passion for truth and life. Her writing has previously been published in print and online by Focus on the Family and other well known media outlets. Her experience in ministry and Disney entertainment gives her a unique perspective on such topics.
Sarah Carri is an avid reader and social media guru with a passion for truth and life. Her writing has previously been published in print and online by Focus on the Family and other well known media outlets. Her experience in ministry and Disney entertainment gives her a unique perspective on such topics.

Sarah's experience as a successful working stay-at-home mom and business owner has given her the chance to write and research often. She stays up to date on the latest in entertainment and offers her views on celebrity stories based on her wide knowledge of the industry. Her success as a former preschool teacher and licensed daycare provider lend to her know-how on topics relating to parenting and childhood education.

Her thoughts on faith and family issues stem from home life and ministry work. Sarah takes time to attend workshops and classes annually that help her to improve and hone her writing craft. She is a graduate of the Institute of Children's Literature program and her writing has been acclaimed by ACFW and ECPA.
Education
Institute of Children's Literature, Art Institute of Phoenix (Advertising), University of California Irvine (Theater), Snow College (Early Childhood Education)
Location
Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Entertainment, Faith




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