Our Stories

Sydney got help when her infant son needed open heart surgery

Sydney Watson, a nurse at Los Robles Regional Medical Center, knew she was in for a challenging road ahead when she learned her unborn son, Jordan, had a spot on his heart. The first few months of his life were marked with fear as he struggled to breathe while he slept, and Sydney watched over him. Finally, at eleven months old, he was ready to undergo open heart surgery.

Sydney is a single mom who also has a 9-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl, her niece, whom she adopted when her sister passed away. She had extensive time out of work to care for her son, and she was denied state disability because she had already used up her allotted time for the year when Jordan was born.

She wasn’t sure how she could possibly make ends meet and worried she might be evicted.

“Jordan’s ribs were still broken. I couldn’t go back to work early.” She said. Her colleagues reminded her about the Hope Fund, and Sydney decided to apply for help. When she learned she would be getting help, Sydney said, “I just dropped down and started crying, and I prayed. I won’t ever forget that feeling. I think it was the first time I took a deep breath in six months. I thought, ‘ok, we’re going to survive this.’ Grateful doesn’t cover it – I was beyond grateful. It was taking care of my kids. It was an amazing feeling.”

Sydney would like her colleagues to know “it’s okay to ask for help,” and for those who are not in the midst of hardship, she encourages them to donate. “I think it’s a cause everyone should donate to because we’re a family. The Hope Fund exists because we have colleagues who are willing to donate to help one another in their time of need, whether they know them or not. It is so worthwhile.”

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