Vintage holiday market to benefit UofL Center for Women & Infants

Mom of premature baby organizes event to give back to the NICU that helped her child

Five-and-a-half years ago, a new mom and dad weren’t sure if their newborn daughter would make it home from the hospital. Today, that baby girl is “as healthy as a horse,” says her mother, who is organizing an event to benefit the neonatal intensive care unit that made it possible.

Reesa Mae’s Vintage Faire, described as a vintage holiday market, will be held Dec. 6-7 at the Chapel in Gingerwoods in Prospect, Ky., to benefit the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the University of Louisville’s Center for Women & Infants.

On May 2, 2008, Larissa Brown was about a month away from her due date and needed some blood work carried out. What that work-up showed was that Larissa was in labor. The next day – Derby Day, May 3, 2008 – Larissa and husband Garry Brown Jr. greeted Savannah.

All seemed well at first. As with all new moms at the Center for Women & Infants (CWI), Savannah was placed on Larissa’s chest during the first hour after birth for Kangaroo Care – mother and baby lying skin-to-skin to promote bonding and to de-stress the baby.

Less than an hour later, however, Larissa noticed her newborn gurgling. Within minutes, alert CWI staff whisked the baby into the NICU and placed her in isolation on a ventilator. The Browns spent a worrisome 14 days wondering when, if ever, Savannah could go home.

The newborn had collapsed lungs, a common condition among preemies because the lungs do not have time to fully develop in utero. Most mothers going into premature labor are given steroids to help mature their infant’s lungs. Steroids were not given to Larissa, however, because the baby arrived before they could be administered.

“We were so worried; it was touch and go,” Larissa says of the 14-day ordeal. “We didn’t know from day to day what would happen. She improved, though, and on that 14th day, we knew Savannah was well enough to go home.

“Today, she is as healthy as a horse! No one would ever know she had issues when she was born.”

Grateful for the care Savannah received, the Browns wondered how they could show that gratitude. In the past year, Larissa began visiting barn sales, and the plan began to form.

“I love vintage things, antiques, anything repurposed,” she says. “I began to see how a vintage vendor market could help us give back to the NICU.”

Reesa Mae’s Vintage Faire will feature “an eclectic mix of recycled, reloved and reinvented goods for your home and your soul,” Larissa says. Antiques, vintage furniture, décor items that are shabby chic, romantic, cottage, farmhouse and primitive, handmade items, holiday décor items and vintage-inspired jewelry and accessories will be offered. Craftspeople and vendors from the local area and other states will be on hand. Burning Bush Grille also will be on site, selling its Mediterranean specialties.

Admission is $3 for teens and adults; children age 12 and under are admitted free. Show hours are 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 6, and 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7. The Chapel at Gingerwoods is located at 7611 Rose Island Rd., Prospect.

The Browns will donate a portion of all proceeds to the Center for Women & Infants, Larissa says, to help continue the work of bringing babies like Savannah into the world.

“It’s very special how they treat the babies and parents. We are grateful for what they did for Savannah.”


Related posts