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Addy Carey celebrates her birthday.

Time spent in the NICU inspires memorial donation

When Norma Royce passed away at age 90, her family honored her memory with donations to the NICU in thanks for the care of her granddaughter.

Category: Childbirth , Pediatrics

When Allison Carey and her husband, Dustin, met their daughter Addy for the first time, it wasn't quite how they expected it.

Call it mother’s intuition, but Allison knew that something wasn’t right. Allison came to Baystate Medical Center, where she was told that her daughter was coming – roughly 17 weeks earlier than expected. It was then that her difficult decisions began.

The journey begins

The medical team knew that it would be an uphill battle, but Addy was a fighter, joining the world on January 7, 2013, at 23 weeks and five days gestation. Upon delivery, the baby was immediately brought to the Davis Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Allison and her family began to develop a close connection with the team taking care of Addy.

“At that point, they just kind of became our family,” said Allison.

Allison’s mom, Jane Flink, felt the same way.

“The time that they gave Addy was unbelievable. From the moment she was born, I was just overwhelmed by the support of the staff,” said Jane.

Generations of support

Addy is now six years old. Her family describes her as talkative, feisty, spunky, and very independent. She has almost complete blindness in one eye and cerebral palsy that affects her left side, but Allison shared that she doesn’t let any of that stop her personality from shining through.

One person who loved to see her personality was Addy’s great-grandmother, Norma Royce, a constant beacon of light and positivity for the family during Addy’s journey.

“Every time I would talk to her, she had never-ending faith in that girl,” said Allison.

On February 18, 2019, Norma passed away at age 90. In honor of the late matriarch, the family decided to designate gifts made in her memory to the NICU at Baystate Children’s Hospital through the Baystate Health Foundation. It was a way of saying thanks for the care that Addy received – a fitting tribute to a woman who put family above all else.

“She was incredible. She had such faith and such love for her grandkids and great-grandkids. She would do anything in the world for them,” shared Allison.

And through her family’s generosity, Norma’s compassionate heart will live on at Baystate Health, helping all of the grandkids and great-grandkids—even if they’re not hers— who enter the NICU.

Learn how you can make a difference with Baystate Health Foundation.