A happy ending


On January 15, 2014, as Kelly Strack and her husband, John Loftis, prepared to welcome their son Xavier into the world, they were met with some alarming news: following 40 hours of intense labor, little Xavier was traumatized.

Upon his birth, Xavier endured 17 minutes of CPR. He was finally breathing, but had su‚ered from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy—lack of oxygen to the brain resulting in a blood clot and abnormal brain activity. In his first two hours of life, Xavier had already su‚ffered two seizures.

“We did not know if he was going to make it,” Kelly said.

With Xavier in the neonatal intensive care unit in Burlington, the family stayed at the nearby Ronald McDonald house, which provides meals and accommodations.

After Xavier finally returned to the family’s home in Lake Placid, trips to Vermont were still needed to follow up with his doctor. This meant more gas, food, and ferry expenses, in addition to the loss of six weeks of income for John.

Thanks to support from the Christopher Emmet Hallowell Fund at Adirondack Foundation, Kelly and John were able to o‚set the costs of travel. Xavier is now a happy, healthy 16-month-old who loves to dance and “make noise,” according to his mother.

“Between losing work and driving back and forth, the Hallowell grant helped a lot,” Kelly said. “He has no current signs of birth injury. We now hope to be able to give back in the future.”

Named after Christopher Hallowell, a Westport native whose short life inspired his family and friends, the fund supports families caring for children experiencing severe and unforeseen illness.

Christopher Emmet Hallowell Fund Donation