Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Holidays to all...

Dear family and friends,

When we examine our lives as years, the last two have been remarkable for us. We spent Christmas 2008 in the Alta Bates NICU, looking forward to our tiny Loki coming home but not aware that kidney failure and feeding tubes were just around the corner. It was wonderful to spend the following Christmas at home with Loki. However, he needed much special care at that time, and we were exhausted.

Since then, Loki’s health has generally improved as the amount of care needed has decreased. His only surgery this year was to give him a new feeding tube, and when he was twice hospitalized for illness, each time was only for a couple days. Loki has also taken significant developmental steps. He is now a happy toddler, running, talking, playing more intricately, and especially laughing a lot. Despite the fact that we are not quite leading “normal parent” lives, we feel that we are inching towards some sort of normalcy.

Also this year, after talking about it for so long, we finally made the move to the Netherlands. This is obviously a big change in many ways. For example, we live in a small village outside of a medium-sized city instead of a major metropolitan area. Of course, this has been a large undertaking, consuming what little free time we had carved for ourselves. But it was clearly the right step, and it is wonderful living close to family.

As we are settling into our new lives in the Netherlands and as Loki’s care is getting easier, we very much look forward to a peaceful and calm 2011.

We thank you for your continued support and hope the upcoming year will bring you love and happiness.

With love and holiday greetings,


Friday, December 24, 2010

Report back from Team CA

It happened..... yesterday on Thursday December 23rd Team CA; Mascha and Amy, dropped by the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center NICU and handed out the books and gift cards we collected through the Loki Sky and his NICU Friends' Holiday Fund. In the mean while we, dad, Loki and myself, were celebrating Christmas a day early with our family in Indiana. Despite the Christmas cheer and children running around playing with their new toys, I couldn't help but have my mind drift off, now and then, to the NICU and the exciting event happening at the same time. Needless to say, I was eagerly awaiting report from Mascha and Amy.

As expected, they received many positive responses. Both families and nurses expressed their gratitude and several nurses mentioned last year's drive. Both Mascha and Amy expressed their excitement in being part of the drop off. As I remember from last year, it feels quite amazing to handout gifts and gift cards, knowing that it positively impacts a family going through a rough time.

The drive came and went, and my mind is already moving towards next year. We made it happen once, we made it happen twice, we will make it happen again.... my dream for the new year? Turning the Loki Sky and his NICU Friends' Holiday fund into a non-profit. Oh, think of all the possibilities this would add.....

Christmas 2008:

Christmas 2009:

Christmas 2010:

The girls before drop off, 2010

64 books and cards neatly wrapped by Mascha and ready to go....

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Funds closed.... but it will continue

Dear family, friends, friends of family, family of friends and perhaps even strangers,

We did it, we reached our goal of $1600 on the closing day of the Loki Sky and his NICU Friends' Holiday Fund. In fact, we almost doubled our initial goal with the $3000 we received from you. I don't think it will be easy to convey in a written message how incredibly grateful we are with the support we have received. Who would have dared to dream this?

With the money we were able to buy 64 $20 gift cards, 64 books, 14 $100 and 1 $50 gift card. Every family spending the Holidays at the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center NICU this year, will receive a gift card and a book accompanied by a letter from Loki and his Friends. Our California team, Mascha and Amy, will be handing out the gifts next week, many thanks to them for taking this on.

The larger gift cards will be handed out by the social workers at the NICU to families who are in need of extra financial support in order to buy a car seat, stroller, crib or other necessities to take care of their baby once they are home.

For those who intended to donate but have not yet had the chance to do so, please don't worry, we will continue to send the money towards the NICU to ensure families who need it most will receive the extra support.

For now I just want to say I am extremely pleased with the outcome and am looking forward to seeing and sharing pictures from our CA team this week! It would not have been possible without the 47 families and/or individuals deciding to donate, it would not have been possible with you! THANK YOU!

Loki Sky and his NICU Friends

Michael and Wagner, 25 weeksAnna, 31 weeks
Bennett, 31 weeksLoki Sky, 24 weeks
Foxen, 30 weeksGabriella and Alexandra, 24 and 25 weeks

Friday, December 10, 2010

And then some.....

As some of you know we recently spent three days in the hospital with a sick boy. Nothing compared to the18 weeks after birth. Still, three days filled with worries, very little sleep and a very sad and miserable boy.

It made me realize even more how happy I am that, despite our transatlantic move and all the hectic it brings along, the Loki Sky and his NICU Friends’ Holiday Fund is happening again.

And how…

  • Thus far 32 families have donated and another 8 promised to do so!
  • Thus far we collected $1678, $78 over target which means extra money goes to families who have more intense financial needs!
  • Thus far Loki has eight NICU friends actively participating in raising funds one way or another!
  • Thus far 64 books have been bought and wrapped!
To those who are helping us make it happen THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts. You are touching lives of families struggling with their babies’ health. To those who sent us their best wishes THANK YOU for your encouraging words. And for those still planning on donating, we are looking forward to your contribution!

Just as a reminder, the closing date is December 18th. However, we would like to encourage those who are still interested in donating to do so before this date, for planning purposes, e.g. whose names to write in the “People who made this possible” column!

To find out how to donate please go to:

With warmth and gratitude,

The families of Loki Sky and his friends

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


After a bit more than 48 hours, Loki was released from the hospital. His fever greatly decreased today, and he was able to keep in about a half-day's worth of food. He was very happy to be home, as were we. We'll try to write a longer update soon.

Thanks for all your support during this latest challenge.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hospital, again

I wanted to post a video this week but Loki had other plans. He got a fever on Sunday, which continued. By Monday he was not really keeping food in. A doctor visit led to the hospital which led to one night here, and now another. His fever has been above 38.5, to 39.2C (101 to 102F). He is generally able to hold down water, and the doctors are not concerned about dehydration or kidney stress, based on a positive urine test. But he will need to stay until he can process food and his temperature lowers.

Of course, he is always a trickster. I planned on going to Amsterdam for work this week but that is now uncertain. And we all have plane tickets to Indiana for Monday.

We will update as we can.

Update: fever up to 40.2 C or 104.4 F.

About Loki Sky

Loki Sky is a special little man. He was a very early micropreemie, weighing only 610 grams (1 lb, 5 oz) after 24 weeks, 3 days gestation, born to an American Father and a Dutch Mother in Berkeley, California on October 18, 2008.

On January 11, 2009, while still in the hospital NICU, his one kidney stopped working. It was repaired after three surgeries. After spending time in three hospitals in three cities, Loki came home on February 17. He struggled with eating, and then stopped in July, leading to 8 days in the hospital, a failure-to-thrive diagnosis, and a NG feeding tube. On October 10, a minor surgery installed a G feeding tube. Another procedure replaced it with a new one, and then again with a Mic-Key button in Jan. 2010.

In August 2010, he and his parents moved to the Netherlands.

Read about his first name.
Read & hear about his middle name.
See photos.
See videos.

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Loki's Holiday Gift Drive

Please consider donating to Loki's Holiday Gift Drive for the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center NICU. You can donate by Paypal or credit card here:

Click here for more information, including how to pay by check. For all posts on the Gift Drive, click here.