Caiden's Story

Updated: Dec 28, 2020

Caiden's Hope Foundation would not exist without Caiden.

Our mission was created after learning of the many hardships his family endured following his premature birth.

Jennifer Neal was given news that no new mother expects to hear—that her newborn baby would only have two months to live. On January 26, 2010, her water broke at only 33.5 weeks and on recommendation of a worried friend, was checked by a physician and admitted into the hospital.

Five days later, on January 31, Caiden was born two months earlier than expected. He weighed only 3.5 pounds due to his premature birth. A clear majority of his health issues stemmed from having CHARGE syndrome. CHARGE syndrome is a rare disorder that arises during early fetal development that affects multiple organ systems. In Caiden’s case, even though he was born at 34 weeks gestational age, his abdomen had only grown to the size of 26 weeks gestation.

On an abnormally dark and stormy day, Caiden would be transferred by ambulance instead of helicopter to a hospital 70 miles from his home in Ventura. He went on to receive care from Mattel Children's Hospital in Los Angeles for two months until he was deemed stable enough to go home.


Find Hope If you're a NICU parent or family member of a NICU parent and need assistance please click here.

Give Hope If you would like to donate to Caiden's Hope Foundation to support NICU parents, click here.

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