My great-niece – Aubrey Kyle Koudelka, was born March 20, 2014 at 31 weeks in College Station, Texas. At birth, she suffered a massive fetal-maternal hemorrhage, and she lost 80% of her blood. She was given a transfusion, but was without oxygen for some time. We were given little hope that she would survive. She did survive and fought strong! She was transferred to Texas Children’s in Houston, and it was at that NICU, that we were given hope for the first time. When her parents arrived at the hospital, a nurse had Aubrey dressed in a little crocheted hat and wrapped in a colorful handmade blanket. This small act of kindness – a handmade gift – from a total stranger touched our hearts.
We knew she would have some brain damage and some developmental issues, but she was doing so great! Every goal that was set for her – she met. After a few months she was discharged and came home. She was nursing on her own and after a few more weeks, she no longer needed the oxygen tube.
Unexpectedly, the Thursday before Thanksgiving, November 26, 2014 Aubrey passed away. Her big brother, Brayden told me he was worried no one would remember Aubrey. To honor Aubrey, in January of 2015 I began making handmade items for Baylor Scott and White NICU in Temple. Since that time our project has grown! Altrusa International of Temple adopted To the Moon and Back as a service project. With their help and the continued involvement of our community we now have over 50 volunteers making items year round. To date, we have donated over 5000 items to hospitals in Texas, Arizona and even a shipment to Leeds, England!
I know through these acts of kindness Aubrey is remembered, along with all the babies we’ve helped through To the Moon and Back.
Kelly Nix, To The Moon And Back Founder