HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The 14th annual Melissa George Night with the Huntsville Havoc is January 18. It is one of the biggest fundraisers of the year for Melissa’s fund that helps buy life-saving equipment for the Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children.
Titus Brooks is one of those tiny miracles who benefit from your giving. He was born on September 3, 2019. He was 15 weeks early. “We were right there,” his mom Kayla said, “cutting it close.”
Before an emergency c-section, Kayla and Lee Brooks were told to not expect to hear their baby cry and they wouldn’t be able to see him because he’d be rushed to the NICU. “And their team would surround him and start working on him immediately,” Kayla added, “So when he first came out, he started crying and he cried three times.”
That was an unexpected blessing. “We knew then that he was a fighter,” Kayla said with a smile. It was a beautiful cry. “It was a great sound,” Kayla said. “Best cry ever,” Lee added.
They couldn’t hold their baby for two and a half weeks. That was tough. But when the big day arrived, “It was the best thing in the world,” Kayla said, “He was so small, and I was so scared because he was so tiny.” He was tiny enough to hold in their hands. “He was just a little fella,” Lee added.
There were battles ahead. Titus weighed one pound and 14 ounces when he was born. “It’s so fragile and the best thing you can do is touch its little hand and we couldn’t even do that for the first two days,” Kayla said fighting back tears, “That’s hard and you can’t change its diaper and you can’t feed him.”
He was on a ventilator to help him breathe. One of his nurses noticed he had a serious infection. “We tried all of these antibiotics and we couldn’t get it gone,” Kayla said, “And we’re like, is he going to make it? But I think because she caught it so early.” “She saved his life,” Lee said. “Yeah, literally,” Kayla added.
There were times, Kayla and Lee saw their little boy stop breathing but the NICU doctors and nurses were right there. “When you’re sitting there and you’re watching that, your heart just stops and you think ‘Okay Lord, please let my baby live,’” she said, “’Please let my baby live.’ You know, it’s tough.”
Tough times made better by surrounding him with love in their arms. “Your heart just floods with love and with joy because you’re finally getting to hold your baby after all these weeks,” Kayla said, “It’s the best feeling in the world.”
Their faith got them through 103 days in the NICU surrounded by angels who helped them on their journey. “We’re really thankful for the NICU at Huntsville Hospital because they literally saved our son’s life,” Kayla said.
Titus got to come home three days before his due date, December 18. That happens to be his mother’s birthday. What a gift.
And he’s growing. “He’s eating like crazy and gaining weight like crazy,” Kayla said. Lee laughed and said, “Yeah, all the time.” He now tips the scales at more than nine pounds.
Titus is just one of the thousands of babies and families who have benefited from life-saving equipment in the NICU thanks to your donations the past 14 years. You’ll get another chance to do that Saturday, January 18. That’s when the Huntsville Havoc will host Melissa George Night.
Players will be wearing special jerseys when the puck drops at 7 p.m. They’ll auction the jerseys after the game. Money raised will go directly to Melissa’s fund. Fans are also encouraged to bring items like restaurant and gas gift cards, receiving blankets, and individually wrapped snacks for the NICU parent waiting room. The first 1,000 donors will receive a Melissa George Night T-shirt.