North Country mother helps others through the death of a child

North Country

DANNEMORA, N.Y. (WFFF) — Dannemora native Sarah Wojtaszek has gone through what no mother should have to experience. 

“I lost my daughter in 2008 to anencephaly, and we carried her to term.”

Wojtaszek and her husband were living in Kansas City, Missouri at the time, and after suffering their devastating loss, they made their way back to the north country. That’s when she had a revelation. 

“I discovered when I got back here, there was nothing like this, there’s no support for families like that.”

Not wanting other families in similar situations to struggle alone, Wojtaszek created Healing Grace Center for Hope and Healing, a non for profit named after her first daughter, that works to provide similar services she received in Missouri. 

“So we worked with a perinatal hospice out there called Alexandra’s House, so we’re kind of, I’m taking my idea, and my support that I got from them and and developing that for the north country.”

Her organization will focus on families that have gone through miscarriages, or a sudden infant loss within the first year among others. Wojtaszek’s aspirations don’t just end in Dannemora though.

“I’d like to have a center here in the north country just dealing with Essex, Clinton, Franklin Counties. And then maybe a center in the Watertown area even down to Syracuse, and down towards Saratoga-Queensbury Area.”

Wojtaszek mentions that she has done some fundraising already, and plans to do more in the future. While her services remain virtual due to the pandemic, she is happy she can still aid in the healing process for now. 

“We want to be the people that can kind of make the worst possible thing you can ever go through, a little bit better.”

Sarah Wojtaszek now lives with her husband and two healthy daughters, she offers this piece of advice to anyone suffering from the loss of an infant. 

“There is hope, and you will smile again, and you will get through it, and allow other people to help you. If I didn’t have the support system that I had, I don’t think I’d be where I’m at.”

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