May is for Miracles: Doctors save baby’s life after family experiences loss

May is for Miracles: Marshall Hansen
Published: May. 3, 2022 at 6:54 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - To say that 2020 was a difficult year for the Hansen family would be an understatement.

When Elsye and Matt found out they were pregnant again in May of that year, they couldn’t be happier.

“At my eight week ultrasound, found out it was twins! So that was not expected at all,” Elsye said. “My husband wasn’t feeling well, so we went to the doctor and after lots of testing, we found a massive tumor on his liver.”

Matt continued to have doctor appointments and on the morning of one, Elyse woke up to fluid. They learned that one of the boys waters had broke at 13 weeks pregnant.

“My husband and I were an amazing team and we would go back and forth,” Elyse said. “At that point we didn’t know his cancer was terminal.”

May is for Miracles: Michigan twins survive against the odds

Then the fall came.

“As my pregnancy got more complicated and we found out that his twin, Joel, probably wasn’t going to make it, palliative care staff stepped in at sparrow and we got hooked in with U of M,” she said.

Matt entered in-home hospice and it was then they met Cheri Salazar, Sparrow’s Pediatric Palliative care and hospice nurse.

“I first was able to meet the Hansen family when Elyse was about 18 months pregnant and her and her husband Matt came to their OB appointment,” Salazar said. “And I was able to ... discuss a plan of care for Marshall, who then was just labeled twin A, and his brother, Joel, who was twin B, and we made plans for what would happen at delivery.”

Salazar said she was glad they could make plans while Matt was still alive. He died on September 11.

Elyse went into labor a month later, on October 14. Because of Matt’s death, and because COVID precautions were in place, Elyse could not have her support person there.

“When Elyse went into labor the team called me to be in with her for the delivery,” Salazar said.

Baby Joel, weighing just 1 pound, 8 ounces, passed away during delivery. Marshall was born minutes later and taken to the NICU to be put on a ventilator.

Elyse said she was thankful to have had the support team to help get her through the pregnancy, birth and grieving.

“Don’t take things for granted. Your amazing, wonderful husband that completely takes care of you could be completely,” Elyse said. “[He] never get to see his sons; he died before they were viable, so he didn’t even know if we were going to have more children. Hug everyone and don’t take things for granted!”

We are looking for you to donate to the Sparrow Children’s Center and help more miracle children.

Your donation will help benefit the sick and injured by strengthening programs and facilities that give young patients the best care possible.

All week long, you can make a donation to Sparrow Children’s Center through their website.


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