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Mom works to become a nurse for her 1-year-old who needs 16 hours of care a day

Family can't get care due to nurse shortage
Kadijah Keys, husband and baby
Posted at 5:26 PM, May 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-10 20:13:29-04

MASON, Ohio — Kadijah Keys was supposed to have twins.

But 22 weeks in, her water broke. Doctors and nurses rushed to save two babies who were a week under what's classified as extremely preterm babies.

"One thing that they did tell me was 'as soon as you deliver these boys, they might not come out breathing,'" Keys said.

She delivered Amar'e first and three days later, Amir followed.

"They were very under developed," she said. "Amir didn't have certain parts that you would think a baby would have. He actually grew outside of the womb."

Nearly two weeks later, Amar'e passed away.

Amir kept fighting. He stayed in the NICU for 13 months, enduring multiple surgeries. He was downgraded to a transitional care center for more than four months, meaning he was on the tail end of living his life in a hospital.

Then, Keys received bad news: They couldn't come home without a nurse to look after Amir, and one wasn't available.

Since then, Keys checks in with Cincinnati Children's every week to see if a nurse is available. But every week, it's been the same answer — no.

Amir, now 1, needs at least 16 hours of care a day. Keys took matters into her own hands.

"I had made the decision about four months ago that if I can't find nursing, how about [I] become a mom and a nurse," Keys said. "I'm going to school two days a week going to clinicals and things like that, just so I can bring my baby home."

Now that her dreams of becoming an FBI agent are on the backburner, Keys is looking inward, fueled by a fire every mother can understand.

"I have something better. I'm going to be Kadijah, Amir's nurse," she said. "I feel complete. Yes. And I'm doing it all for him."

Keys set up a Gofundme to help her pay for school, you can find it here. You can also follow Amir's journey through the Instagram Keys runs.

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