Your odds of being struck by lightning in a given year: 1 in 750,000. Your odds of naturally conceiving quadruplets: 1 in 729,000.
Lightning struck the Flores family, Mexican immigrants who live on Chicago’s South Side, when they found out that Guadalupe, 35, was carrying naturally conceived quadruplets.
The stunning news sent Guadalupe into a spiral of anxiety, and then depression. Her husband, Fernando, works at a meat distribution company. Daughters Jasmine, 13, and Giselle, 4, attend Chicago Public Schools. A Mexican immigrant who came to Chicago at age 20 and was working in a toothpaste factory, Guadalupe had no idea how the family would provide for four babies.
Enter the Infant Welfare Society, which celebrates its 100th year in 2011. The family had been visiting IWS for 12 years, receiving medical care for their children in IWS’ Logan Square facility, a beautifully restored historic bank and former YMCA building.
On Aug. 18, Aaden, Joel, Kevin and Lindsey were born at Illinois Masonic Hospital. The babies were healthy, each weighing around four pounds.
Help the Flores Family
Guadalupe can’t afford to work because a babysitter would cost her entire salary. The family is in need of a larger vehicle as their children cannot fit into their car, and money is needed to meet ongoing expenses, such as diapers and formula. To help the Flores quadruplets, make a donation by calling Milagros Fernandez at IWS at 773-782-2800. And to help IWS help other families, donate at infantwelfare.org, or call Executive Director Dr. John Wilhelm at 773-782-2800.
IWS stepped in to provide counseling, post-partum depression therapy, equipment (four cribs, four baby swings, four high chairs), clothing, Target gift cards for diapers, and more. Helping to lead the charge is Elise Klein of Glencoe, president of the North Shore Auxiliary Board of IWS.
“It’s moms helping moms,” Klein says, bouncing a baby in her arms during a visit to IWS to see the Flores family. “Women and kids are being well cared for here—and the Flores family is such a good family.”
Elise has visited the family several times at home, and now there’s a visible bond. “Guadalupe felt badly about being helped, at first,” she says. “But the overall need for Guadalupe was so great. Even a mom who had financial resources would be overwhelmed.”
When asked how IWS helped, Guadalupe fought back tears, saying, “I didn’t know how we would have enough bottles, enough diapers.”
“The first time we visited her at home, we were amazed at how Guadalupe was doing everything and doing it remarkably well,” says Milagros Fernandez, director of Child Development and Support Services at IWS. “It was only in the last half hour of the visit that she broke down crying.”
Fernandez squeezes Guadalupe’s hand reassuringly. “How do you feel now?” she asks.
Guadalupe wipes away tears and says, “I feel more hopeful.”