When Indiana neonatal nurse Katrina Mullen first saw a 14-year-old mom of premature triplets it appeared she was alone in the world. However, their lives were about to change in the best way possible.
Mullen told Today she was curious why Shariyah Small was always by herself as she watched over her babies at the hospital, the outlet reported Thursday.
The triplets, whose names are Serenitee, Samari and Sarayah, came into the world at 26 weeks and had a long stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Indianapolis’ Community Hospital North.
An image shows the pair with huge smiles on their faces while holding the triplets:
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Mullen eventually revealed to the young woman that she put a son up for adoption when she was sixteen and that information made their friendship stronger.
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The pair stayed in contact after the babies were discharged and one day Mullen drove an hour away to where Small was staying with a family member.
When she arrived, Mullen soon realized the babies were sleeping in a playpen while Small slept on a couch inside the home. She knew the situation was less than ideal for a young woman trying to raise children.
In addition, Small’s son, Samari, was suffering from digestive problems even though his mother did everything she could to help him after a doctor switched the baby’s formula.
Doctors eventually diagnosed him with failure to thrive and officials with the Department of Social Services were alerted to the situation. A caseworker told Mullen the group was being removed from the home and they wanted to come live with her.
Mullen, who already has several children, instantly realized what needed to be done.
“I knew Shariya was intelligent and resilient and she just needed a safe place to put her roots. I knew it would be hard, but we’d figure it out,” said Mullen, who quickly became a certified foster parent.
Small has since graduated from high school and wants to attend college. In addition, Mullen recently adopted her and an image shows the happy family in the courtroom standing with the judge:
— Live Action News (@LiveActionNews) March 25, 2023
As of Friday, a GoFundMe page created to help Small and her triplets has raised $22,105 of its $20,000 goal.
Now, Mullen cannot help but beam with pride when she looks at her daughter, saying, “She just amazes me every day.”