Local Family Provides Support and Comfort to Parents Navigating Unspeakable Losses

(L-R)CMH Labor & Delivery Manager Jana Mariana, Director of Maternal & Children’s Health Megan Rodarte, NICU Manager Debbie Hill, Sarah Venegas, Toby Venegas, and Cruz Venegas.

When people ask Sarah or Toby Venegas how many children they have, the couple always answers, “two.”  Yes, their youngest, Olivia Grace, only lived 17 minutes, but they will always think of her as their daughter.  They made a promise to little Olivia that they would use her short life to help others who have experienced a similar loss, and they keep that promise year after year.

The Venegas family, which now includes 2-year old Cruz, recently presented a check to the Community Memorial Hospital Maternal Child Health Department nurses for $500.  The funds were raised by Sarah and Toby from family and friends who contribute each April – the month of their daughter’s birth and passing – and will be used to provide items of comfort for families at CMH who have lost a newborn.

During their visit, Sarah and Toby sat with the nurses and reminisced about the day Olivia was born.  They told the nurses, “You give and give and we always want more when we’re in need.”  Sarah recalls that when she knew Olivia would not live, she fell to the floor in tears.  A nurse literally picked her up and hugged her – a gesture of such comfort that Sarah will never forget.

The Venegas Family is dedicated to helping others, especially those who can barely speak about their loss of a child.  The understand like no others can.