TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The baby showers were over, the nursery complete. David and Rashea Robinson were about 25 weeks along with their first bundle of joy and were over the moon.
That was until Rashea started having early contractions and was flown to Mercy St. Vincent Hospital. RaShea and her baby were dying.
"My liver was shutting down, my kidneys were shutting down," RaShea explains. "They were trying to battle both at both ends they were trying to because they were trying to keep me alive, and keep her alive long enough, and keep her in there long enough to be a viable human."
"It was a very scary situation not knowing am I going to have a wife after this, a daughter after this, or both or neither," RaShea's husband David said.
RaShea had something called Help Syndrome. Her umbilical cord, that lifeline between mother and baby, was killing her. It was giving all of her nutrients to the baby and her body was shutting down.
Doctors say Help Syndrome is the number one killer of pregnant moms. And RaShea was hanging on by a thread.
"All of the statistics aside, the second they said that line that was it," Rashea said through tears. "Essentially one of us was going to win, either she was going to die or I was."
The medical team at Mercy St. Vincent Hospital were able to stabilize RaShea as much as they could, but if they did not do a Caesarean section soon, they were going to lose her. So within hours of arriving to the hospital, she was in surgery.
Once their beautiful girl, Tatum, was delivered and the umbilical cord cut, RaShea's chances of survival went' up.
David knew this would be a long hospital stay for all of their extended family. That is when the team at Home Away from Home jumped in.
The Robinson's were able to live right on the Mercy St. Vincent Hospital campus. David could be close to his baby in the NICU and his wife in her hospital bed.
"It's attached to the hospital, it's literally right across the parking lot from the NICU," Rashea said about Home Away from Home. "All you have to do is walk across the parking lot. It was an immediate yes for us."
"This place doesn't charge and for families who really really need it, it's a great resource," David described Home Away from Home.
The Robinson's had to spent almost three months living at Home Away from Home.
"This space for the family, it's like a piece of heaven," Manager of Home Away from Home Michelle Isaacs said. "Truly, it's comforting, it's safe, it's peaceful, it's not clinical, so they have a place they can go just relax."
Not only was this a crisis for the Robinson Family. It was also the beginning of a crisis for Toledo! It was the beginning of the Toledo water crisis and all hospitals in the area were on emergency protocols.
"It went from already a tricky situation to now you can't even turn your faucet on," David said. "It was another curveball you were not expecting here for a bit or prepared for."
Home Away from Home always appreciates a donation from families that need it like the Robinson's. So when they went through this pregnancy crisis and the water crisis, they knew what to do.
During the water crisis, their nurses had to use special bottle warmers that didn't use tap water. So David rallied his friends and family and raised over $5,000 to buy five of them for the NICU and for the nurses that helped save his wife and daughter.
"I receive checks in the mail five years after they have stayed because that's what works for them to make a donation to us, which is awesome," Issacs said.
"Thank you. I don't know what else to say but thank you." David said. "We were completely thrown for a loop, like anyone in this kind of situation is. The Home Away from Home people. If they're going to think about it, you have a place. It only takes one experience like that to put everything into perspective. I would not have a family out there if it weren't for the people here."
A family's first start at Mercy St. V's Home Away from Home.
"And this is a part of our journey more than anything," RaShea said.