Aydin Martin is one of the most popular celebrity babies with more than 1K social media followers tuned into every inch of progress taking place. Aydin’s miracle story is one with many ups and downs. Yet in the past nine months since we got to know Aydin’s caring parents, Yadi and Jamaal Martin, they have been an incredible source of inspiration for our teams. More than just keeping their head above the water, the Martins exhibit reservoirs of strength and are determined not to allow anything to pull them down. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. As Yadi says, “There was much preceding Aydin’s story, way before we were even expecting him.”
Yadi and Jamaal journey was a long one knowing many years of hopes and disappointments. They have been spending more than three years making rounds to numerous IVF clinics. There were dashed hopes when they lost triplets and miscarried twice more during the time of the pandemic. Yadi felt those were the hardest times, as it caught them in in fearful times when no one was there to support.
It had been hurdle after hurdle until what seemed like the fairy tale ending – Yadi got pregnant with Aydin.
Until it was not.
At 18 weeks a routine ultrasound found a lot of fluid around the area. The doctor could not identify the exact issue causing this unusual occurrence. He referred them to see a high-risk doctor. “Everything was happening way to fast that we couldn’t even think.” Yadi recalls.
Yadi and Jamaal saw the other doctor a day later who was assessed there was a hole somewhere, but he could not confirm anything as it was hard to see details with the excess fluid blurring the area. They were recommended for a fetal cardiogram.
“I’ll never forget that day.” Yadi is pulled into memory lane. “After the test was taken, the doctor came into the room asking if my husband is there. Jamaal just went downstairs to find parking, but the doctor insisted that call him up before he starts his speech. When my husband heard that he was like – hey Yadi, there is bad news coming.”
The doctor chose his words carefully, a phrase that was engraved in the minds of Yadi and Jamaal. “You know, your son has very bright lungs. From what it seems it sounds like CHAOS, Congenital High Airway Obstruction Syndrome.”
And just like that, Aydin’s journey began.
The pregnancy was especially tough. While there were numerous appointments to attend, Yadi was separately dealing with HG; she could not keep an ounce of food down. “I only survived that period credits to my supportive husband. Jamaal was the strongest man one could ask for.”
My Mother-in-law on the Care Team
For months, the teams at NYU carefully planned the NICU care team for Baby Martin.
When Yadi and Jamaal got there to give birth, the teams at NYU were prepared and ready. Jamaal’s mom came with them to provide support while it was all happening. It was then that the team was shocked to find that “baby martin” is a grandson of Martina Martin who has just retired from the NYU NICU after more than 40 years. She had her reputation. “My mom worked as a respiratory therapist on the floor for years and has trained more than 95% of the Respiratory therapists on the unit. Though they were a great team who provide extra great care, they worked with baby martin like you work with a family member.” Jamaal explains. Yadi notes how odd it was for them when Aydin was born in the summer of 2021, just as everyone was trying to get back to normal, hosting barbecues once again, they were thrown into an entirely different normal that will never be the same.
Post Birth: Aydin’s Hospital Stay
Initially, Aydin’s parents were in denial of the prolonged hospital stay that awaited Aydin, or the fact that there is a huge chance that he will have come home with medication and other medical equipment. It was a challenging time. Yadi and Jamaal juggled their full-time jobs while vising Aydin every day. With NYC traffic as we know it, it meant a typical drive of an hour from their home in Brooklyn. In good but rare days it was a half an hour. Aydin was truly adored at the hospital, where he would smile at anyone coming into the room. If he liked you, he would pick up his little foot and wait for you to rub it. “It was incredible how we came to NYU as strangers, but after the five months of Aydin’s stay, we did not feel like we left hospital staff behind. Rather it felt like a farewell from close family. Not only the devoted doctors and nurses, but also the other patients and families with whom we forged a unique bond. With some, we are still in touch today.”
After this long stay in NYU, Aydin was transferred to Children’s Specialized Rehab in New Jersey to prepare everything so Aydin can go home. He was on a trach and needed a lot of care. It was then that we started hearing the staff talk about the need of setting up homecare Private Duty Nursing services. We were in complete denial. The social workers provided a list of many agencies to choose from, but we would not look into it. We kept on telling the staff that it is our baby, and we can totally care for him on our own.” Says Yadi.
At first, the social workers at Children’s Specialized Rehab tried convincing them against it. Seeing their determination to take the baby home without nursing services, they advised to do an FSA. The FSA or Family Skills Assessment is to analyze if they are capable to perform the patient care on their own. The parents come down to the hospital for 24 hours and perform all necessary care for the patient with the nurses watching at the side.
“Were those 24 hours!” Jamaal shares. “Every time the machine went off, both Yadi and me would jump up to see what was happening. Suddenly they realized how much this would entail.” It brought clarity that in order to keep Aydin permanently at home there is no way to do it without Private Duty Nursing Services. Children Specialized Hospital was great at pushing for a 24-hour nursing approval through the insurance, a maximum approval, leaving them with the decision which homecare agency to trust with Aydin’s critical care. There was a lot of research done in those days. When Jamaal read up on the White Glove reviews testifying the satisfaction of White Glove homecare patients, the decision was made. “I’ll never forget my first call with Yadi.” Says White Glove New Case Coordinator, Dina Neustein.
“After hearing Aydin’s story, we were determined to help their transition to home be as smooth as possible.”
Transitioning to Home
Bringing a baby home after 11 long months is an overhead challenge. First, Aydin had to get used to a new setting. Homecare services was also nothing quite to sneeze about. Yadi found that having nurses come into her home was surprisingly the hardest aspect of the new life they had to get used to. It meant exposure to more strange faces and severe lack of privacy. And this was round the clock, not only during the day. Besides, it also takes time for nurses to get completely acquainted with the patients customized care and Yadi felt like she had to be fully on call all the time even when nurses were attending . “Dina was the biggest blessing of our life during that time.” Yadi says. Dina was the assigned coordinator to get the initial schedule together for Aydin.
To understand when this was happening, Aydin was discharged during the height of the pandemic when the hospital nursing shortage was very commonly recognized, but the homecare nursing shortage was even more so pronounced. Many nurses were retiring or seeking hospital opportunity. “Getting a twenty-four-hour schedule together within a couple of days in the height of a homecare nursing shortage was not an easy feat. But I had to do it for Aydin. We were on the phone a lot and I felt along with this strong family who handled the situation in the most amazing way possible making every nurse feel like home.” Dina shares.
Once nurse went there, they all felt like staying long term on the team. Aydin was a charmer, and Yadi and Jamaal were so welcoming and willing to train any nurse. Jamaal jokes that once you come to their home you are stuck with them. They just make you part of the family with their warm welcome hugs and friendly gestures. Even once nurses move onto other opportunities or can no longer work due to personal situations, most will still keep up with Yadi, and Yadi will share the sweetest photos of Aydin showcasing his progress. “Nurses see us at our best and our worst” Yadi says. “In a sense they are closer to us and understand us better than our own family. They share our journey.
How Aydin Changed Lives
Life dramatically changed for Jamaal and Yadi once Aydin was born. People often ask them how they are so open and easy with whatever is going on with Aydin, but Yadi says they were not always that way. “For the first 6 months we felt like living an out of body experience, where we were living it, but not present.”
Some people tend to get awkward when approaching someone going through a difficult time, but when it is some of their closest friends it was painful. Jamaal joined a high school reunion with the high school football team, where he met his old good buddies. He challenged them why they did not reach out when they knew what he was going though. They said that how can they reach out when they know something is not OK. They were far not the only ones avoiding him. It was like an elephant standing between many of the previous relationships.
Then there were those who asked questions like ‘Will your baby be health?’ or ‘When will the trach be taken off?’
“It was so annoying answering again and again, explaining what CHAOS is about and yes, the trach will still be on for a while.”
A Social worker advised Jamaal to open a social media page for Aydin to post everything going on. That is where you can post all progress, surgery updates, or other new the nosy bodies would love to know. You would not believe how popular Aydin became with more than … followers. “He’s a lot more popular than us!” Yadi Exclaims.
Several months after Aydin was born, the social worker at NYU commented how much Yadi and Jamaal have changed since. They became so candidly open with the situation. Through the help of social media, they were keeping everyone in the loop. Instead of keeping the struggles within they also became a great source of inspiration for others in similar situations.
When family and friends saw how open the Martins are it was easier for them to act natural. Still, Yadi says she currently finds a lot more common ground with the friends she made with families in similar situations that she met throughout their ordeal in the hospital. She also finds it rewarding to grant support to others who need it. Those who are not in the place she stands right now at peace with the situation. The nurses they met throughout all this time also became like closeknit relatives who still contact them ever so often to see photos from the charmer boy who was under their care for long months. “The journey pushed us to change, to see things in prospective and to handle more. It truly pushed us to grow.” Yadi says.
The Greatest Blessing, the White Glove team!
A Message from Yadi and Jamaal: Frankly, we couldn’t have done it and survived every day without White Glove at our side.
Starting from our coordinator Dina who was amazing and extremely helpful to establish our initial schedule in such a volatile timing. Then Rebecca has been who is great at coordinating our case since our case was all set up. There were many times when we cried on the phone to Rebecca and her truly understands with compassion rarely found.
Then there is Ashley, who handles the clinical aspect of our case. She truly cares! I often send her photos and she love to hear how Aydin is doing. You can feel her heart is there and she isn’t just interested in technical aspect of things.
Obviously, that’s before you touch our most amazing team of nurses working with one another to ensure a complete care! I take the forum to thank each of you, Gena, Loejjie, Aimee, Audrey, Andokie! You are all so individual and special.
It is adorable to see Aydin greeting them so lovingly, and they love him too!
A Call for a Monday Night Nurse
While Aydin has 156 hours covered with an A+ staff, the Martins are recently challenged when their Monday night nurse left due to an unforeseen emergency. Can you become Aydin’s Monday nurse?
Contact email@example.com to become make your mark in Aydin’s miracle story.