Vacationing couple surprised by support after premature birth in Lowcountry

Vacationing couple surprised by support after premature birth in Lowcountry

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A sudden birth has stranded a Virginia family in the Lowcountry for what will be months.
Philip and April Young were vacationing on Edisto Island when April's water broke abruptly, weeks before her due date.

"All I kept thinking was 26 weeks, 26 weeks, we're 26 weeks," she said 11 days after giving birth to her newborn baby boy.
Cooper Young was born prematurely, weighing less than two pounds.

Doctors at the Medical University of South Carolina say the baby's skin, brain and other organs are still not fully developed.

"His journey is dictated a lot by his respiratory status," Neonatologist Dr. Frances Koch said. "At the same time, we try to provide the best nutrition."
So MUSC's neonatal intensive care unit will be baby Cooper's until he is healthy, which means the family's plan to be around loved one's for the birth would change.

April and Philip say updating family and friends hours away quickly became overwhelming.

"We were spending five to six hours on the phone trying to update people," April said. "I told my husband we have to do something different."

That's when Cooper's Chronicles came alive.
A Facebook page of pictures, videos and messages, shining light on some of the family's most intimate moments. "I'm not a huge social media person but I thought there has to be an easier way to do this," April, a teacher and the copy-editor for the Facebook page, said.

For her husband, Cooper's Chronicles is a therapy he doesn't have to pay for. "Cooper's Chronicles is actually my way of dealing with everything that's going on around us, to us and about us," he said. 
Strides and setbacks on the page are covered up by prayer chains from family and complete strangers. All for a preemie named after the Cooper River.

"I want him to be appreciative of how the country rallied around him and wanted him to be well," Philip said.

Support hasn't just come to the family in the form of likes and comments on social media.

Philip, a firefighter in Virginia, say he has been in contact with members of the Charleston Fire Dept. He says they department has reached out to the family and offered to help with meals and more the family may need.

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