Little more than 11 years after their son’s death, a New York State couple have raised half a million dollars in his honor.
“When a birth injury happens, it just happens and you’re not prepared,” said Ilana Meyers, co-chair of the Slater Jett Meyers Foundation, based in West Nyack, NY. “The results are so severe. They require so much care, and the outlook for them is pretty grim.”
Meyers’ son, Slater Jett Meyers, died as a result of birth-related brain injuries in August, 2000, when he was eight months old. Ilana and her husband, Glenn, hope to keep his memory alive through supporting projects and initiatives for other birth-injured children.
Memory living on
“I look at these kids at the organizations with whom we partner, and I think ‘this would be my son,” said Ilana Meyers, who has three other children. “I ask, ‘What would Slater need now?”
Over the years, the foundation’s supported a number of local cutting-edge programs, including “gait therapy” at nearby Jawonio, Inc. and Inspire. It’s also provided much-needed medical supplies, from a specially-fitted gym for infants, to an “adaptive” treadmill for older children seeking to walk. Ilana Meyers says her foundation’s always willing to give.
“Here we have this money,” Meyers said, “and we want to give it away. Organizations aren’t used to somebody cold-calling them, saying they have money.”
Educating woman on birth injuries
The Slater Jett Foundation also provides education to pregnant women about the risks of “VBAC” procedures, or “vaginal birth after C-section.” Slater Meyers suffered severe oxygen deprivation during this type of birth, which ultimately led to his brain damage.
Meyers says a core group of local business have supported the foundation throughout the years, and that her staff is entirely volunteers.