Cori Sachert calls her home a “house of hope”; the former perinatal nurse has dedicated her life to fostering children with terminal illnesses, providing them with loving hospice care until the end of their short lives.
Cori, who has 8 children of her own, adopts “hospice babies” whose own families find it too hard to cope with their child’s condition.
Her first “hospice baby” was Emmalynn, a baby born missing part of her brain and with a terminal diagnosis.
“She could have died in the hospital, wrapped in a blanket and set to the side because she was being sustained with a feeding pump,” says Cori.
“Emmalynn lived more in 50 days than a number of folks do in a lifetime. We held her constantly and took her everywhere with us.”
When Emmalynn passed away, having survived much longer than expected, Cori realized her opportunity to give these children peaceful and loving final moments was a gift.
“She didn’t suffer, she wasn’t in pain, and she most certainly wasn’t alone…; What a gift it is to be a part of these babies’ lives, to cherish and love them even though they aren’t able to give anything back.”
In 2014, Cori welcomed four-month-old Charlie into her home.
Charlie suffers from brain damage and depends on round-the-clock care and a life-support machine.
In his short life he’s already been resuscitated 10 times and recently Cori made the difficult decision to alter his care plan and, should the worst happen again, let him go.
“We do everything we can to love Charlie. We take him on adventures with us everywhere we can.”
“We even got approval for a bed large enough for us to snuggle in with him and cuddle him while he is attached to the tubes and machines that keep him alive.”
Cori has also founded the Hope After Loss Organization (HALO) to help other families cope with the loss of a child, based on her experience of hospice care.
“I saw a need to make the hospital experiences of these people less traumatic by handling them with care, instead of rushing them out the room because their grief made me uncomfortable.”
“We invest deeply, and we ache terribly when these kids die, but our hearts are like stained glass windows. Those windows are made of broken glass which has been forged back together, even stronger and more beautiful for having been broken.”
You can find out more and donate to HALO at their Facebook page.