June Dad of the Month
Meet Demetrius, our June Dad of the Month.
Keanna entered into our Nurse Family Partnership Home Visitation program pregnant with her first child. She and her fiancé, Demetrius, were eager to learn all they could to give their baby the best start to life. Demetrius recalls being very excited. As someone who grew up with lots of young children in his life, he was eager to start a family with a child of his own. Keanna had originally reached out to Healthier Moms and Babies for educational support. Their nurse home visitor, Julie, provided insight on everything from safe sleep to breastfeeding techniques to maternal diet; all things to prepare for baby’s arrival. Demetrius was engaged every step of the way, willing and ready to do everything he could for his family.
On July 17, 2018, Demierria was born happy and healthy, except for a lower leg malformation. Keanna and Demetrius were overwhelmed as they navigated their way through parenthood. Near the end of 2018, they were busy with work, doctor’s appointments, and life. Julie continued to follow up until she found a time that worked best for them; Keanna and Demetrius are grateful she did. Originally, the doctors recommended a full amputation of Demierria’s leg, but they now believe that the leg can be recovered through reconstructive surgery and physical therapy. Julie worked hard to find them the connections they needed, pairing them with Turnstone Center for Children and Adults with Disabilities to get physical therapy needed to prepare for her surgery later this year. Demetrius has taken on a second job to allow for Keanna to take time off from work as Demierria recovers.
Demetrius has gone above and beyond to be the best dad he can be. When asked what fatherhood means to him, he responded, “all of the above.” He explained a dad should make sure everyone is happy and healthy, make sure bills are paid and food is on the table, and make sure he always has time to spend time with his family. Demetrius has been engaging and involved every step of the way, learning along side Keanna and working hard to provide for their family. To other dads, he encourages them to stay strong. Fatherhood is not easy, but it is so worth it.
At 10 months, Demierria chatters away, smiling and waving. Julie continues to bring resources and education to Keanna and Demetrius. Although they did a lot of research on their own to prepare for their baby, they are grateful for the additional support Healthier Moms and Babies provides. Keanna and Demetrius are doing everything they can for Demierria to give her the very best: advocating for her, caring for her, and loving her.