Cori Salchert shares a home in Sheboygan with her husband and eight biological children. However, their family doesn’t stop there. They have also grown to include terminal foster babies in their home. It takes a lot of strength and love to do what they do. It also comes with a lot of heartbreak.
Cori says that it is worth every bit of pain to be able to make sure that the short lives of the hospice babies are full of love, comfort, family, and positive experiences.
The heart can heal and grow stronger from offering that love.
The right person for the task
Cori is a registered nurse with hospice experience.
She is also intimately aware of how difficult life can be for special needs children in the foster system. Her own sister was placed in a children’s home due to brain damage from meningitis. When she was eleven, a gate was left open, and she drowned in a nearby pond alone.
A heart in the right place
Cori never wanted to see the type of situation in which that could happen. Instead, she chose to improve the lives of terminally ill babies by bringing them into her home, rather than leaving them in a hospital to die with medical care, but not the emotional support, attention, and love they so deeply deserve.
She didn’t want them to feel alone.
Cora’s first terminally ill foster child was a nameless two-week-old infant with a bleak prognosis. She was born without a large portion of her brain and was only responding to painful stimuli.
Despite the overwhelming task of caring for an infant in her situation, Cori’s family knew that they needed to.
Bringing her home
They brought Emmalynn into their lives, provided her comfort, held her, rocked her, spoke to her, and made her a part of their family. She spent fifty days with them before passing peacefully and without any pain in Cora’s arms. She had found home and experienced love in her short time on earth.
The next baby they took in was four-month-old Charlie. He had a life-limiting condition and was already on life support. He wasn’t unwanted. His parents just couldn’t manage the overwhelming task of caring for him. They were grateful that Cori was there to take over.
Most babies with his condition don’t live more than two years. However, with Cori and her family, he has seen five birthdays. Their care has not just brought him happiness. It also improved his quality of life and made it possible for him to persevere.
He is as much a part of the family as any of the biological children. They all care for him. They have to. It’s not a task that one person could manage on their own. He still has health concerns, and he is still using a ventilator and oxygen condenser.
Cori and her family know that every moment is precious. They take each moment as it comes, making sure to include Charlie in every aspect of their lives. He will never have to know what it feels like to be alone.
There is a family there to support him for as long as he clings to life.
Do you want to hear more about this incredible family?
Check out the video below.
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