H-HEALTHY LIVING

Oct 16, 2013 12:15 AM by Kathy Kuretich

Local mom brings awareness to Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

A local woman is shining the spotlight on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, which is October 15th. According to the latest reports, one in four women will experience that kind of loss. Jamie Maraviglia-Manalo of Nipomo is turning tremendous heartache into healing, for herself and other families.Her beautiful baby girl, Naya Jane Manalo, was born in July, 2011. Jamie and her husband brought Naya home, but shortly after, they noticed she wasn't doing well.Naya had a bowel obstruction, which led to septic shock and several weeks in the hospital. "Then one day, she just couldn't take it anymore. Her body, it was just too much for her to handle, and she passed away in our arms," said Jamie. That was September of 2011.Dealing wih overwhelming grief, Jamie wrote about Naya's death in her blog, Notes of Naya. Through her postings, she met other families, who were also struggling after they lost children, and they formed their own support group. "When you're in that moment when it happens, you feel so alone," said Jamie. But she didn't stop there. She became an advocate for children through the March of Dimes. She lobbied for a pulse oximeter test, now required for all babies born in California. "We just wanted to make sure this didn't happen to anyone else, because there was no reason for it," she said. She is one of the top fundraisers in the country for the March of Dimes, bringing in close to $40-thousand dollars. Jamie does this for Naya, for her sons Ty and Rhone, to empower other parents, and pass on her wisdom through grief. "I've learned so much since that point. I've learned to trust my instincts. I've learned to fight for myself and my family," she said. She wants other familes to know, they are not alone. Jamie and her family was recently asked to become an ambassador for the March of Dimes. She hopes to spread her message, and is also working with area hospitals to establish more support groups for families who've lost children.

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