Penelope Rose Winsman (Penny), arrived Oct 31, 2019, at 31 weeks, weighing 2lbs 15.9oz after a vehicle failed to yield causing an auto collision. Penny and Mom were rushed to the hospital where an urgent emergency C-section was performed to save Penny’s life. Penny battled prematurity and an irreversible severe traumatic brain injury, sparing her brainstem and cerebellum. Medical professionals said, “Only time would tell until Penny passed.” She was given a life expectancy of six months or less. We were placed on Palliative Care and began quality of life and comfort measures but never giving up. Penny’s medical conditions were complex and unpredictable. Throughout Penny’s NICU journey, she experienced many events and conditions relating to the neurological impairment and others relating to prematurity. Eventually, she grew out of some conditions and others were lifelong. Just to name a few: (Sleep Apnea, Central Apnea, Respiratory distress/ Respiratory failure, Neuro-irritability, Microcephaly, eating difficulties/G-Tube dependent, Spasms, Spasticity.

We never left Penny’s side, during our three month stay in the NICU. Time was limited and it was important for us be there, to advocate and give Penny the love that only we could give, improving her quality of life. Our time together could not have happened without family, friends, community, and support from organizations like the Ronald McDonald House. We were gifted priceless time as a family, and cherished every moment. Our journey of impending loss was able to also be our journey of togetherness, memories, and much much more.

Penny kept fighting! She kept amazing us with her strong will to live. Showing everyone what she was capable of. We loved her single every day and always told her how proud we were. Penny was finally able to graduate the NICU and was able to experience life at home with Mom and Dad on Hospice. We were able to create a beautiful life full of love and happy experiences for Penny. We danced, listened to music, made a healing garden for Penny, celebrated monthly birthdays, played shows on Penny’s Porch, photoshoots, starred into each other’s eyes, talked and hugged day and night.

Throughout Penny’s journey, she faced many challenges, but was also very accomplished. She did a lot more than what was expected from her MRI and CT and EEG results. She knew who Mama and Dada were! She could hear and see us. She loved to hit her toy fish and every time we said, “You did it Penny!” The BEST day ever was when she learned how to SMILE! It was so beautiful. Penny loved affection and responded to encouragement. She often told us in baby talk and through the expression of her pretty eyes. For a short amount of time, Penny was able to visit with her family in person. Until the pandemic arrived. COVID made it impossible for us and Penny to be around others. Penny had no indoor visitations, except for Hospice and window visits from her loved ones, due to her compromised immune system. Even through the pandemic, we still found ways to celebrate Penny’s life, as a family.

As Penny grew, her brain couldn’t keep up with her body’s demands and the conditions worsened. After 8 courageous months, Penny decided it was time. She peacefully passed away in Mom and Dad’s arms from respiratory failure on June 28, 2020. Penny finally gained the glitter wings she requested and rode her unicorn Hope, onto a rainbow into the sky. We always told her she could do and be anything she ever imagined and could visit us anytime.

During our journey with Penny, we received an outpouring of support from our family, friends and community, who we now call PALS! We are beyond grateful and hope to provide that kind of love and care for our medically fragile pals and their families.

Penny gained her glitter wings and rode her unicorn Hope, onto a rainbow into the sky. Free from pain and into eternal happiness and love.

Our sweet Penny gifted us with a shining light of love and hope, that we will continue to carry that light through the work of Penny’s Pals.

-Penny’s Parents, Rose and David Winsman

Meet Penny’s Healthcare Heroes

Board of Directors



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