Imagine losing your child and your job in the same day. This nightmare became a reality for one local family.
Kyle Warnick and Samantha Graves were heartbroken when they lost their newborn daughter just one week after she was born.
"No parent should have to say goodbye to their child especially when they never got to know who they were or who they were going to be,” he said.
Graves was more than excited when she found out she was pregnant with identical twin girls, but things took a turn for the worse when she went into labor three months before her due date.
Graves went into Roanoke Memorial Hospital and gave birth on Labor Day. That’s when she found out that Mary Virginia and Ruby Alice were born with twin to twin transfusion syndrome. According to Graves, Ruby was taking all of the nutrients away from Mary.
Days later, things got even worse.
"Mary's heart wasn't working the ways it was supposed to," she said.
Graves and Warnick got a call from the neonatal intensive care unit. The nurse told them things were not looking good and to get there as soon as possible.
Warnick said they had already started chest compressions.
"They said that they would either keep working on her and try to save her or we could let her go and that's a hard decision for any parent to have to make so I just decided to let her go."
The two said it's the hardest decision they've ever had to make.
As if losing their own child wasn't enough, the couple was about to be hit again with some hard news the day Warnick went into work to talk to his supervisor at New Horizons Healthcare on Melrose Avenue in Roanoke about taking a few more days off from work to be with his family.
"The HR lady said she was in meeting and wouldn't talk to him and to call and he called the next day and then we got a letter in the mail saying on the day our daughter died he was terminated for missing too many days of work,” said Graves.
Warnick admits he didn't call out on the days he missed while spending time at the NICU. He said he was too busy calling his parents and spending time in the hospital while his daughter fought for her life.
He said he called his supervisor prior to let them know about the entire situation and was told to take care of his family.
"I understand how corporations work and all, but my wife just gave birth three months premature and my little Mary died,” he said.
“They could have been a little more understanding. They could have at least told me they're going to have to let me go, let me work a while, they could have talked to me, could have done anything but they sent a letter. That's all they did besides smile and tell me they're praying for me."
WDBJ 7 reached out to New Horizons Healthcare. They issued this statement on Tuesday:
At New Horizons Healthcare, we are deeply saddened by the recent personal loss experienced by one of our former staff members, and we extend our sincere condolences to him and his family. New Horizons Healthcare, a non-profit organization, is committed to increasing access to affordable, high quality, comprehensive and preventive health care. Each of our staff members plays a critical role in the delivery of professional, quality and compassionate care to more than 100 patients a day.
Out of respect for the privacy of the individual, we are not at liberty to disclose the details of his work history and the circumstances that led to his departure from New Horizons Healthcare. Suffice it to say, when our letter was mailed we were not aware of the heart-breaking details of his personal situation. We wish him and his family the best at this difficult time.
Oakey's Funeral Home donated all of their services to the couple free of charge for Mary. According to the couple, some local churches have also helped them during this difficult time.
Warnick is now looking for a new job.
Ruby is still in NICU at Roanoke Memorial Hospital and is doing well, according to her parents.
The couple agreed to have an autopsy done on Mary. According to Graves, she got sick in a short period of time. They hope to get some answers from the autopsy report so that it might help save another child’s life.