This fundraiser is being hosted by Jess and Brandon Segal in honor of their son, Griffin Samuel. The funds raised will be used to support those that are currently dealing with neonate illness and death in the hopes of using their own tragedy to help others in need; examples include care packages for parents of children receiving care in CHOP NICU, direct donations to families personally affected and the support of neonatal research. They intend to hold an annual fundraiser and updates will be provided on how all funds are being used.
On October 1, 2016, Griffin Samuel Segal passed away at 4 days old, below is his story.
At 7:30pm on Tuesday, September 27, Jess had a pre-scheduled prenatal appointment at 32 weeks+6 days at her OB office in Abington Hospital. With Brandon present, the doctor indicated that the baby’s heartrate was only in the 70s and immediately sent Jess & Brandon to OB triage for further evaluation. By 7:45pm another doctor confirmed via ultrasound that the baby was in distress and that they needed to perform an emergency c-section; 13 minutes later, at 7:58pm, baby boy Segal was born weighing 4lbs 3oz and 18” long. Jess and Brandon later named their son Griffin Samuel after learning it meant “strong in faith.”
Upon birth, Griffin took one breath, was then resuscitated and taken to the NICU to be treated and monitored. Jess and Brandon got to meet their son close to midnight after Jess was released from recovery; at this point the doctors were still talking about Griffin as a typical preemie.
Early the next morning they learned that Griffin had multiple seizures over the course of the night and that the initial blood work showed all of his levels were off. Over the course of the next 12 hours the doctors at Abington were having trouble stabilizing Griffin and were still unable to provide any answers for what was causing his seizures and system failure. Around 4:00pm the outlook for Griffin had started to change and the hospital staff started preparing Jess and Brandon for the worst. Griffin was baptized at 8:00pm with his parents, sisters and family present.
After some careful consideration, Jess and Brandon decided to request Griffin be transferred to CHOP for a second opinion. By 3:00am Griffin was on his way to CHOP via ambulance with Brandon while Jess was still waiting at Abington to be discharged due to her C-section.
By 6:00am Griffin was settled in at CHOP and began being treated by his new team of doctors and nurses. Rounds began at 9:00am, Jess was able to get discharged early and arrived by 11am, and over the next 10 hours Griffin saw a Neurologist, Optometrist, Metabolist, Geneticist, and a variety of other specialists who were taking x-rays and ultrasounds of his different organs. With Griffin being viewed as one of the most critical patients, Jess and Brandon received sleep rooms and were able to be with Griffin throughout his entire time in CHOP NICU.
During Friday morning rounds, Jess and Brandon learned of Griffin's progressing kidney and liver failure and the continued inability to control his vitals; one doctor described it to us as “every time we go left, Griffin goes right.” After his MRI at 2pm, Jess & Brandon sat with Griffin until being escorted to a conference room at 6pm where the attending doctor and team explained that Griffin had an extensive amount of blood and swelling on his brain and therefore there was no hope that his kidneys or liver could recover.
Early the next morning Ella and Molly got to see their brother for the 2nd time. They gave him kisses, covered him in a blue blanket and took pictures with him (per Ella’s request). After family said their goodbyes, Jess and Brandon spent a few quiet hours with Griffin. Jess and Brandon were able to hold Griffin for the first time before carrying him to a private room at 4:15pm. Griffin was a fighter and lived until 5:37pm when he passed in his mother’s arms.