Updated: Jun 23, 2021
Three Little Birds Perinatal is proud to announce our founder, Brent Samuelson, has been named a healthcare hero by the Star Legacy Foundation!
Brent Samuelson is employed at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, NJ. This is also where all three of his children, Jimmie Anne (stillborn 2014), Chloe (ectopic 2015) and Beatrix (rainbow birth 2018) were born. After experiencing the devastating loss of his first two children, his heart was called to advocacy to supporting the one in every four families like his, walking the uncertain journey of family building and pregnancy/infant loss.
After founding Three Little Birds Perinatal as a non-profit project with his wife and fellow local perinatal bereavement advocate, Desiree Miller, he has quietly served families in their most devastating moments, offering them the gift of infant remembrance portraiture during a time when no one would think to capture those moments.
"We did not know there were volunteers trained to support families like this when we were in the fog of grief. Our healthcare providers were also unaware and as we have found in our advocacy, there is a tremendous misconception about this work and lack of access to resources that are pivotal to families that have to live a lifetime of memories in moments and say goodbye when all they ever dreamed of was the moment they could say hello.", says Brent.
"Our biggest regret in our experience is not meeting Desiree Miller sooner. What she could have given us in those moments would have changed our lives, but at the same time, not having access to these services has driven a passion into my personal and professional life that is equal parts somber and rewarding. It is a very odd way to parent your child, but it is a very real thing that millions of families experience and some inherently need to do. I am proud to be part of the movement of shattering the stigma of pregnancy and infant loss. Part of my children's legacy and my parenthood is keeping my babies memory alive through this work and being a very small part of a big moment in another family's life. I will never get to walk my girls down the aisle, but I do get to do something incredible as I walk this unfortunate journey with others, with their spirt and energy by my side."
Brent was nominated by another local family experiencing a devastating loss at the same hospital. Here are their kind words...
"Brent came to our room as stranger during one of the most difficult times as a family and was able to give us what we didn’t know we need, validation and the honor of having photographs to cherish and a nest of support through the volunteer organization he founded with his wife, to provide this gift to families. There were some challenges with photographing her since she was intubated when trying to resuscitate her. Unable to remove the tubing, he was still able to give us photographs of her face without the tubing being obvious.
While thinking back to that time is hard, I am reminded of the kindness of others who have walked similar journeys and support families quietly. When we were pregnant after our loss, Brent offered us support through Three Little Birds for a Rainbow Baby Maternity session. While these photos will always be bittersweet, they remind us our daughter will always be a part of our family and we are so grateful for them and Brent’s generosity in supporting families. He has supported more than four dozen families like mine at the hospital he works at and continues to inspire and support my husband and myself as we navigate our journey to parenthood."
Thank you to the Rowe family and the Star Legacy Foundation for this honor. Star Legacy Foundation annually recognizes leaders and heroes who are working everyday to make a difference for perinatal loss families! For the 2021 Star Awards, they have chosen to focus on the individual health professionals who go above and beyond on a regular basis – but especially during the past year of the pandemic. This announcement coincides with the Star Legacy's Annual Stillbirth Summit being held June 23-24, 2021. Congratulations to the other Healthcare Hero's for 2021!
Three Little Birds is so grateful for this acknowledgment of Brent's advocacy. We are proud to be one of many organizations providing this vital services to families during the most difficult of situations! For more information on how volunteers like Brent can support you or your hospital, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Brent has also supported dozens of other families at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals in Philadelphia and South Jersey and Inspira Health Systems.
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