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Love for Levi

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Love for Levi

My name is Regina Mullinax. I came to learn about KinderMourn several years ago after a gut wrenching tragedy affected my family. KinderMourn is a great support unit and are willing to help any way they can. They also do many activities throughout the year that helps families cope, adjust and most of all, remember. We have supported the Hope Float Duck Race for several years but it has only been the last few years I have felt comfortable sharing my story, so here goes.

My Story

In November 2009 I learned I was going to have another baby. With my only child being 14 at the time, you can imagine how shocking this news was. Shock, fear and worry quickly turned into excitement when I heard the heartbeat for the first time. We were extremely excited to learn it was going to be a boy. We would name him Levi Dal-son Mullinax.

It was a perfectly normal pregnancy. However 8 months in, something went wrong and he had to be taken by emergency C-Section. Levi was born 1 month and 2 days early on June 26, 2010. He had a lack of oxygen and it took 1.5 minutes for the doctors to resuscitate him at birth. Due to this, the doctors did not have much hope that he would survive the first 24 hours. At 32 hours old Levi was air lifted to Levine's Children's Hospital in Charlotte, NC.

Again the doctors had low expectations as to his survival. But when I heard him cry for the first time at 3 days old, I knew the doctors were only guessing at what they thought the future held for this strong, determined 'Little Man'.

Within 8 hours at LCH he was off the cannula (assisted oxygen), breathing total on his own and regulating his own body temperature. Within the first 24 hours the only cords attached to him were monitors. My best friend named him 'Warrior Prince' because he was such a fighter. Each day he grew stronger and longer. They kept Levi in the hospital for observation due to his eventful entrance into this world and him being early.

At 2 weeks old they started attempting to feed him with a bottle but by this time he had already realized he could get his food without all the work of sucking. So because Levi didn't eat enough by mouth they decided to put in a feeding tube. He continued to eat by mouth, this just gave him the extra he needed.

Levi was nicknamed 'the Jolly Green Giant of the NICU' because he was at least twice the size of the other babies and even had a bed for big boys. :-)

At 32 days old Levi (his mommy (me) and his big sister) left LCH and went home. For the first time, he slept in his own bed that had been waiting on him for several months and loved on his mommy without all those cables and the paper gown.

Over the next few weeks we developed a routine of baths @ 7pm, massage, stories and then bed by 8pm. He even put himself to sleep. He made his schedule and made sure we stuck to it. He was up by 6:59 every morning to watch his favorite tv show, Orangutan Island. Trust me, he never missed an episode, he made sure of that :-).

At 2 months old Levi was rolling over, eating with a spoon and laughing out loud. Again, things they said he may never do.

Over the next few months we enjoyed family time, staring contests with sissy, relaxing in his red rocket seat and flying like superman. He met and exceeded developmental goals that the doctors said were out of his reach. Our favorite game was Up the Side. It was a tickle game that he would freeze with anticipation and laugh as hard as he could at the end.

The day after Christmas Levi turned 6 months old. We were so proud of how far he had come and were excited for what the future may hold. Little did we know that we only had 3 days left. On the 28th he started running a fever. We went to the ER when it spiked up to 104.2 and spent all night only to be sent home the next morning with the assurance that he would be 'fine'. Within 2 hours we were in the back of an ambulance on the way to another hospital where, after much effort I was told "we did all we could". I don't remember the time, all I remember is his face as he looked at me in that moment and telling him earlier that morning how proud I was of him for being such a good boy through all the tests. I was later told the only thing wrong with my son was that he had a 'belly bug'. A simple, everyday, everybody gets, stomach bug. A belly bug that lead to dehydration due to the high fever and diarrhea. But because the doctor at the first hospital chose not the treat him with fluids, my strong, happy, healthy Little Man, who had already overcome all the odds against him, was taken from me.

There is a lot about the next several years that I don't remember. What I do remember is the time I spent with him. The endless days at LCH reading and singing, just him and me. The moments first thing in the morning when he looked at me with curiosity for the day ahead and the joy he and his sissy had as she returned home from school and scooped him up. They both loved those moments.

KinderMourn is a place that offers a supporting light for families in their darkest hours. Through groups, activities and information, KinderMourn helps each individual process this unchosen state. Activities are designed for parents and siblings of all ages and even families as a whole.

I ask that you adopt a duck in honor of my son Levi to help support this organization thats helps support so many others. My wish is that no parent, sibling, grandparent even need a place like this but I am glad they are there.

ALL contributions go to KinderMourn. Our team nor our family receive anything from this except the comfort in knowing KM will be able to help other families like they have helped us.

Thank You for your support and for showing Love for Levi.
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Adopting a Duck Through Love for Levi:

  • Select the Adopt a Duck Now button below this text and select a package.
  • The team name and team member you adopted ducks from will be included in the online receipt and in the email receipt you receive.
Please note it may take up to 24 hours for your adoption to be listed below.

Thank you for adopting ducks and supporting KinderMourn!

Claudia Cadavid

Regina Mullinax

Team Members

Team Member Num Adopted Goal Adoptions
Michael C.
Michael C.
0 25
Regina M.
Regina M.
0 10