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I’m Reminded Why I am Here Every Week
The station where Rio was placed at birth.

I’m Reminded Why I am Here Every Week

Shonjrell Ladner recalls her days and nights in this very spot with her baby
2014 Shonjrell and her son, Rio share a smile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the very spot, where my son laid in an isolette, at UT Medical Center’s NICU, three years ago.  I recall the feeling, the environment, and the images, every week I volunteer as a Cuddler.  I’ll never forget, seeing babies next to mine, who didn’t have visitors, besides doctors, nurses, and volunteers.  At the time, I did not understand it, because I was with my baby, for the duration of visitor hours, no matter what.  I cried every night, I walked out of that hospital, empty handed, and slept in his nursery at home, wishing he was there.  This experience, made me want to dedicate my life and time, not only to being a cuddler, but also spreading awareness of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.

In 2014, while my baby was born prematurely, seeing babies born addicted, firsthand, was a big impact, I had never been exposed to so many cases.  I wanted to do something about it, but knew my volunteer work, wasn’t enough, it starts with the mother.  I decided to join the world of pageantry, to gain a platform, to help warn women of drug use during pregnancy, and its possible outcomes.  I have been able to reach many nationally with a state title, but still hope someday, to be a national titleholder to continue this mission beyond imaginable!  I’m so excited watching my invention “The NICU KUDDLER” come to life!  I can’t wait to share this at our local hospitals, and to many around the world.  I am hoping to help soothe these babies, relieve nurses and caretakers, while also employing many, who think they can’t make their dreams come true, because of a past mistake.

This was built with experience, love, my dream, hope, and GOD.

 

Shonjrell Ladner

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