Kee Lab moved to Indiana in 2014 after living in a refugee camp in Thailand. Once her family settled in the Indianapolis area, Kee set out to understand American culture and to learn English. Shortly after she started attending her new high school, she found out that she was pregnant.
Unsure of how she would navigate life as a teen mother in a new country, Kee reached out for help. After confiding to her school’s nurse about her pregnancy, she discovered Goodwill’s Nurse-Family Partnership® program. Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) pairs first time, low-income mothers with a registered nurse who makes home visits through pregnancy up until their child is two years old.
Kee applied to NFP and was paired with nurse Kelly Connell. Kelly visited Kee at her home and accompanied her to medical appointments. During each visit, they would work on a variety of things to prepare Kee for the birth of her daughter. Throughout this time, Kelly expressed the importance of managing stress, anger, and anxiety levels to Kee. She reminded Kee that depending on how she felt emotionally, her baby could mirror the same behaviors. Kelly encouraged her to stay positive and find healthy ways to cope with her stress.
“Kelly told me that if I was happy, my baby would be happy as well,” Kee said.
Kee’s daughter, Daisy, was born in February 2016. The three met over 50 times while Kee was in the program. Kee is thankful that Kelly guided her through the cultural differences in how children are raised in Thailand versus America. A big part of that process was teaching Kee the importance of her child’s overall health. Even when Daisy was diagnosed with jaundice when she was just a week old, Kelly was right by Kee’s side. Aside from helping Kee learn how take care of Daisy’s physical health, Kelly taught Kee how to promote her daughter’s developmental growth.
“I learned about all the ways babies grow from month to month,” Kee said. “Kelly was so encouraging as she taught me how to interact with my baby.”
Kee graduated from high school fourth in her class, and she received a 21st Century Scholarship, an award that provides tuition up to four years for students at any participating Indiana college or university. Now 20 years old, she is attending Ivy Tech and studying elementary education. Kee and Daisy graduated from the Nurse-Family Partnership program in March 2018.
Proud of Kee and Daisy’s progress and achievements, Kelly has nothing but positive things to say about the mother-daughter duo.
“In my time with Kee through Nurse-Family Partnership, she consistently kept her appointments and was always eager to learn,” Kelly said. “She established a strong connection with her baby prenatally, that continued after she was born. There is no doubt in my mind that Kee and Daisy share a special bond that was made stronger by our conversations during our time together. Our partnership in the NFP program assisted Kee in developing into the mother that she wanted to be.