Kadijah Keys and her husband Kevin have been waiting for over a year to bring their newborn son Amir Keys home from the hospital after he was born prematurely in late 2020. But she says a lack of nurses is preventing him from being discharged, so she decided to become a nurse herself.
Bringing Amir Home
Keys suffered a traumatic birth when she welcomed Amir into the world. She was carrying twins, Amir and his brother Amar’e.
“We were preparing to lose Amir thinking Amar’e would be okay and it was vice versa,” Keys said.
According to Keys, Amir and his twin were born prematurely at 22 weeks, and both were given a 1% chance of survival. Amar’e was born on November 8, 2020 but died 13 days later. Amir was born on November 11, 2020 and has continued to beat the odds ever since.
Amir has now spent his entire life in the hospital at age one-and-a-half years old.
Keys says her son has been cleared to leave but a lack of nurses has left him waiting to be discharged.
Amir underwent five different surgeries during his time at the local Children’s Hospital. He was born with his intestines mixed up, cutting off the blood supply to his organs. He is still trach and ventilator dependent, but Kadijah is ready to take him home. However, the couple says they must have four nurses in place to care for Adir because of his rare condition.
“He’s ready for discharge, but we just can’t find any nurses, so we’ve been stagnant the last three or four months and he’s been ready to come home,” said Keys. “Children’s has seven different agencies they work with, and they check in with them weekly, and that’s still not a hit. Every week the answer is no.”
Keys and her husband even posted on social media, pleading for nurses to help fill in the void.
With nowhere else to turn, Key says she has decided to become a nurse herself. She has a degree in criminal justice but recently enrolled in nursing school to make sure someone is around to care for her son once he leaves the hospital.
“I will completely change my career and sacrifice to try to get my baby home because he’s relying on me, he did his job,” said Keys. “He has fought. He can’t talk but he’s saying, ‘Mommy and Daddy, it’s your turn now.’”
They were willing to take anyone with a medical background as long as it would help Adir come home.
“Even dad and I went through intense training to allow us to get a nurse that wasn’t an RN,” said Kevin Keys.
Kadijah recently created a GoFundMe page to help pay for the cost of her education.
“With the odds being so against us, I decided to pick up another crown and work toward going to nursing school to become Amir’s nurse, so he will be discharged sooner rather than later. I got accepted into a nursing program, but due to me having a prior degree I have exceeded almost all my loans,” she wrote online.
“Therefore, I have to figure out a way to pay for what financial aid doesn’t cover. Before the boys were born, I had a career as a director in a correctional setting for 8 years. But I had to medically separate due to me needing to be by my boys’ side full time in the hospital. Anything will help, I’m very thankful for everything God has displayed to us over these trying 2 years. But my main priority is getting Amir home, returning to school, and becoming Amir’s best primary caregiver. Thank you for acknowledging my brief journey,” she added.
They have so far reached nearly $3,500 of their $20,000 goal.