NEW YORK, 5 February 2015 – Katie and Lee were on a five-day trip to New York when their son Dax arrived 11 weeks early on December 28, 2014 weighing just 3.4lb.
The newborn was placed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Lenox Hill and over the past month he has been gaining weight with the support of breathing and feeding tubes. Originally doctors told the parents that Dax could not travel until at least his due date of March 10. Now that the baby has an American passport insurers are trying to arrange a private plane with a doctor to take the family home at the earliest opportunity.
Dax’s parents, Katie and Lee are self-employed and while they are stranded in America they have no income. Fortunately, Lenox Hill are working with their travel insurance company to ensure all medical bills are covered and they are staying at Ronald McDonald House, which provides affordable accommodation for families with sick children. The estimated cost for the delivery and hospital stay is approximately $200,000.
The couple have no friends or family in the US and limited funds. They were referred to St. George’s Society of New York, a charity whose historic mission is to assist British nationals in distress in the tri-state area. As well as financial assistance the charity’s social workers provide emotional support and advice in emergency situations.
St. George’s Society met with the couple and offered to assist with a modest monthly stipend to cover food, transportation and incidentals as well as paying application fees for the newborn’s passport to enable him to travel back to the UK once he is well enough. The family described St. George’s Society as “a friendly face in a time of need”. Lee said “it is a very emotional time for us being alone in a strange city with no friends or family so it is reassuring to know we have someone to turn to for support and advice”.
St. George’s Society of New York
St. George’s Society is a membership organization with a charitable purpose. It provides vital assistance to people of British and Commonwealth heritage in New York who are in need of financial and emotional support. For example the sick, elderly and disabled and students who have the ability to succeed but lack the funds to complete their studies. Its vibrant network of influential people and partnerships with key organizations in the British community make it the pre-eminent Anglo/American social and philanthropic group in the tri-state area.
The Society is well-known in transatlantic circles due to its longevity, record of good works and position in the New York British community. It enjoys a close working relationship with the British-Consulate in New York and for over a century each serving British Consul-General has held the position of Honorary President. The Society’s Royal Patron is HRH The Duke of Gloucester, KG, GCVO. www.stgeorgessociety.org