By Kathy W. Isdale
With a commitment to Texas Children's Fetal Center in memory of her daughter, Reba Galinsky, who died in utero in 1997, Nadine Galinsky Feldman has established an endowed fund through her estate plans to help give other prospective mothers and their at-risk babies a better chance to share a life together.
Before Reba's expected birth date, Nadine's doctors discovered a lifethreatening tumor in the baby's tiny heart. After consulting with Dr. Kenneth Moise, a pioneer in maternal-fetal intervention who is now a member of Texas Children's Fetal Center, Nadine was determined to do everything possible to save her child.
At that time, in utero interventional fetal surgery was actually performed in only a handful of medical centers and rarely in Houston, so Nadine spent the next several weeks consulting with a large team of doctors from Baylor,Texas Children's and other hospitals to assess how to accomplish the surgery that might save her baby.
"But Reba just couldn't hold on," Nadine says. "She died the day before the surgery was scheduled."
Reba's death was devastating not only to Nadine, but also to her mother and her marriage. Nadine turned to writing as part of healing, creating a book of support and counsel for grieving grandparents to help her mother and others, which she self-published in 1999. A few years later, she met and married Henry Feldman and was quickly enfolded into his family, becoming close to Henry's twin teenagers and her in-laws.
Though now living a busy, fulfilled life as wife, mother and writer, Nadine says she has never forgotten the kindness extended to her by Texas Children's. She was excited to learn more about Texas Children's Fetal Center and to honor Reba's life by creating the endowed fund in her name.
"I'm always looking for ways to give Reba's life more meaning," she explains. "Whether I do it in a big or a small way, it gives her life; it gives me an opportunity to mother her in the only way that I can."
It's also important to Nadine that she is supporting the Fetal Center. "It means a lot to me that other mothers and babies now have this chance," she says. "It's one thing to be able to help other people who are grieving a loss, a death, but to help avoid the death in the first place is really cool! With all of the technology in place to do all of these wonderful things, it's easy to forget that it wasn't always this way. But it's not routine—it's a gift, it's a miracle. What Texas Children's is doing is very special and not to be taken for granted."