Harper’s Story

HARPER'S STORY

On March 9th of 2015, Harper, daughter of Jamie Curts, was born at 24 weeks. At birth she weighed only 1lb 11oz, she was tiny but tough. Despite her mighty spirit, Harper’s tiny body could not recover from the trauma of being born sixteen weeks early. She passed away July 24th, 2015. Like her daughter, Harper, Jamie faced the trauma with courage, resolved to honor her daughter’s story by helping families dealing with the reality and challenges of the NICU. Jamie Curts founded her nonprofit to make a difference for these families and, with the help of her older daughter and son, named it Harper’s Love.
During the first half of her life, Harper was in a local Indianapolis NICU. Harper’s older siblings were not able to see her for the first 8 weeks, in person, due to seasonal NICU restrictions. In addition, Harper’s many family members spread across the country were not able to travel to see her. Jamie quickly learned the hospital had webcams in the rooms that allowed patients to live stream video. Jamie was able to introduce Harper to her siblings this way and stream video of Harper for friends and family all over the country to see her. The webcam also provided peace of mind when Jamie had to leave the hospital to care for her older children; the nurses could turn the webcam on even when Jamie was away, allowing her to check in on Harper. As difficult as it was for older siblings Taylor and Drew, not being able to see her in person, the webcam provided a way for them to bond with their new sister. In coordination with the Northwood Elementary teachers, Jamie was able to live stream into the classrooms, and Taylor and Drew’s classmates were able to see Harper and ask questions. Teachers incorporated the experience into the curriculum, including genealogy. Taylor and Drew were very proud to introduce their sister to classmates.
In May 2015, Harper was transferred to an Indianapolis Children’s Hospital. Although there were no webcams, the hospital did a great job of providing support to families through gifts such as care packages, free meals, music therapists and bonding opportunities for Taylor and Drew.
After Harper’s passing, Jamie reflected on her four month roller coaster ride. She wanted to take Harper’s tiny but mighty spirit, and amplify the love Harper inspired within her, by helping other families. Many NICU’s struggle year to year to acquire funds for bereavement gifts for families and items to help ease the stress of hours and days spent at their
baby’s bedside.
With this realization, Jamie acknowledged that her work as Harper’s mom was just beginning. Harper’s giant spirit had already impacted lives, and would touch so many more, as it was destined too.
Harper’s Love will provide endless resources, such as food vouchers for the cafeteria, gas cards, massage therapists, and financial support for webcams in every NICU.