Thursday, November 17, 2005

Two NICU Graduates Abby & Annie

I'm the mommy, a tough job, of mono twins. One sack, one placenta and a lot of jumping squiggly fun! We came to the womens hospital when I was 24wks along and stayed til the girls came 9 weeks later, over 2mos early. this was the only hospital in the state to accept me as a patient and the only one to be equiped to monitor these types of twins. Because of the difficulty of my pregnancy.
I'm sure God sent me here, I was 43yrs old and having huge trouble staying pregnant. I thank him every day for so many things, the girls who are now like miniture sumo wrestlers that love to tackle Daddy soon as he gets home. I can't tell you all how grateful I am to the diligent nursing staff, who put up with all my little silly stories and wouldn't let loose on those paddles for (at times) 20 hours out of 24! Those poor things would chase my little tabpoles for hours... I make jokes, but it's still so cool being a mommy (finally) after so many years of waiting. (I'm 44 now) God finally made this miracle happen and provided these fabulous folks who care so very much! They were the instraments in His orchastration that only began when my two beautiful babies were born. Susie Q...

UNC Children's Hospital creates miracles

My wife Nicole and I had a baby girl at 27 weeks. She stayed at the UNC Children's Hospital NCCU for over 2 months. The doctors and other caregivers gave us the miracle of a beautiful baby girl who just celebrated her 1st birthday. Not too many people know what goes on in the 4th floor NCCU, but the technology and medicine that are available to neonates is unbelievable. Even more importantly, the people who take care of babies and their families are miracle workers. The resources that are required to run an NCCU are hard to contemplate. Your donations can help meet the needs of the hospital and help make miracles happen for other North Carolina families. Please donate if you can, and be sure to check and see if your company matches donations. If you are UNC alumni, your donation counts towards the Carolina First campaign. Thank you - Dave and Nicole

More than just medical care

I am a Child Development Nurse here at the Clinical Center for the Study of Development and Learning and UNC Hospitals, and one of the things I like best about working here is that most of the staff offer more of themselves than just their medical skills. One of the things I'm most proud of here at UNC is the culture of caring. I have a son who was born weighing one pound, 12 ounces, who is now 14 years old. I am eternally grateful to the staff who made it possible for him to be a walking miracle. But I am also grateful for the supports that were in place for us during our hospitalization and the links to community resources following his hospital stay.

I am inspired by my experiences as a mother of a NICU graduate, and what I believe is a higher calling, to try to make the lives of the children and families we encounter here a bit better. I have worked to create child development and parent support programs particularly for children who have experienced prolonged hospitalization. It brings me a great deal of joy to be able to help them physically, spiritually,and emotionally.

I appreciate so much those of you who are donating - especially at a time when our country is in a financial challenging situation. Sometimes this population of children is the group that suffers most at a time like this when there are less funds for social and health programs. We really appreciate your help!

One of the parents in our program expressed, "before I was participating in your support program I could afford the gas to visit my child, but now I can afford to eat too!" One of our program professionals who is also a parent of a child with special needs said,"If I had had this program when my child was born, it would have changed my life. Instead, I lost my husband because of the chaos, and was left on my own to learn to deal with having a child with special needs. I had no one to show me the way."

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for helping us change lives! Jane Barlow, MSN, RN

Working with the kids and families is quite a privilege!

Hello everyone,
I just wanted to take a moment to say THANK YOU for helping our kids. I have had the privilege of working with these families for almost twenty years and have seen the effects of help from the community. Some of them are here speaking with you today and I am still humbled by their courage when facing the challenges they do.

We have quite a healing environment here, and thanks to many of you we are able to make our environment of care even more nurturing.

In Recreational Therapy we are often asked about what we do most with the kids in the children's hospital--the simple answer is that we help them to cope and adjust with health care encounters and do as much as they can to be kids within the environment. We do this through medical teaching with some play and some real medical equipment. Many times we are clearing up misconceptions they may have about the hospital or clearing up something they misinterpreted. We teach them the sequence and sensations so they know what to expect and help alleviate some of their concerns. We also help them to get through the procedures with the use of breathing techniques, guided imagery, distraction and relaxation. However, when you watch what we are doing with the kids, you may hear us asking them to use their imaginations to pretend they are "Ariel who is slowly blowing bubbles easily and gently as she rests in the ocean..." We do this to help them do what is needed for the procedure and to help them relax during the event--The ability kids have to use their imaginations is phenomenal and is often the best tool they have to get through a simple blood draw or even a more intense procedure. The idea is if they have some sense of control, they will be better able to cope and adjust to this health care encounter and future ones. There are many things we do to help the kids in the children's hospital to heal, cope, adjust and get themselves back to what they should be doing--being a kid!

Additionally, we have some play facilities here that really let the kids know that we value them-in one of them is an Air Hockey table that was purchased last year because some of the monies donated were used to help us purchase this KidZpace air hockey table. The kids absolutely love it and often it helps them to get up out of bed and work on getting better.

Thank you again for supporting the N.C. Children's Promise and helping us help the kids!

Laurie Reddick
Recreational Therapy

Why we are involved

Our first involvement with the NC Children's Hospital was attending the Eric Montross Father's Day Basketball Camp. The 'new' Children's Hospital had not even opened during our first year at camp. This allowed us the opportunity to become involved while the final plans were still being developed. All the wonderful plans seemed like a dream and fantasy but what a wonderful dream it was. It is truly amazing to see that dream come true and how far the Children's Hospital has come since those years which were actually not that long ago. Before the Children's Hospital opened, facilities for the children were located in various parts of the hospital and frankly the appearances were not very appealing. Privacy and conveniences were not abundant at that time. Going to the hospital is usually not a pleasant experience for children or parents. To be greated by unappealing and intimidating surroundings is counter-productive for children coming to the hospital to be healed. We quickly saw that private funds were necessary to make the NC Children's Hospital as welcoming and comfortable as anyone would want if their child were being treated.

We thought that this was a very worthy cause and believed that our funds were critical in helping achieve the nurturing state of the art facilty that is embodied in the NC Children's Hospital. The physical completion of the Hospital was only the beginning of the need for continued private support. Keeping up with developing technologies and medical procedures requires continued private funding. This is one of the reasons that continued private funding for the NC Children's Hospital remains one of our high priorities.

One of the special features of the Children's Hospital is the Parent's Resource Center which allows parent a quiet room with a computer and internet access in which they can research their child's illness. There is a digital camera so that parents can send photos and updates over the internet to families and friends to stay in touch while their child is in the Hospital.

Please join us in supporting the wonderful facility that we have here in the NC Children's Hospital. Everyone contributions, no matter the size, are valued, needed and very much appreciated.

Tom & Lisa

Saving Arden

Arden's journey led us to NC Children's Hospital nearly four years ago when my beautiful 5 1/2 month old chubby, healthy, thriving daughter awoke with a cough. By the evening she was having trouble breathing, and my husband and I found ourselves panic-stricken while driving to the nearest hospital.

At the hospital, she was failing. She was placed on a ventilator and we were told that Arden's right lung had collapsed. The next day we were told her right lung had not collapsed - she did not have a right lung. Our response was, "Well, she had a right lung when she came in here."
No one could understand what was going on with Arden, but one thing was certain, she was complex and critical.

She was rushed to NC Children's hospital where they diagnosed her with long stem tracheal stenosis (her airway was greatly narrowed) and pneumonia - which brought on the cough.
She was hour to hour whether she would live for two weeks.

The PICU stood by her side and never gave up on her.

Arden was lifeflighted to have reconstruction surgery on her trachea and then came back to NC Children's Hospital for a lengthy recovery which included 2 cardiac arrests, seven incidents were she had to be revived - five of which I stood by her side and witnessed. She was incredibly fragile.

She had to have a tracheostomy to help ensure her survival if she coded at home, and she also had to have a g-tube - feeding tube placed in her stomach. Arden came to the hospital January 23 and returned home in late June. that was one long night for me and my husband.

Since her lengthy hospital stay, the staff at NC Children's Hospital has worked by our side to provide Arden with the tools she needed to survive and thrive. They Empowered my husband and I with the education we needed to help Arden.

Now Arden is four, in preschool, taking ballet and tap and thriving. She is high spirited, funny and loving, and I am lucky to be her Mom!

Arden's condition cannot be linked genetically. There was nothing that happened to her while she was in utero. There was nothing I ate or took while pregnant with Arden that caused her to be the way she is. We have no family history of major illness. We could be your neighbor.

What happened to Arden could happen to anyone. There is no Us and Them in Arden's story. We are not "those" people. For that reason, we all need to come together as a community and support the NC Children's Hospital for Our children.

Please show your sense of community spirit and your compassion by donating just $25 to the place that helped us save Arden.

-Arden's Mom, Laurie

Jordyn, Our Little Angel

Jordyn's journey through life began on December 20, 2002. I had no idea that her journey would be such a rough one. She was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia at two months old and was in need of a Liver Transplant. September 17, 2004 was the Big Day! I, Jordyn's mom, was able to donate a piece of my liver to her. Jordyn has had a few complications since the transplant but is overall pretty healthy. She is a blessing and a miracle. We have a wonderful team here at UNC has become like family to us. Jordyn is as healthy as she can be now and we have UNC Hospitals to thank for that! Any donations that you can give would be greatly appreciated. This hospital definitely gives the gift of life!!!

Thank you,
Melissa and Jordyn Hester

Joshua, God's Little Miracle

Hello, my name is Darrell Cooley, father of N.C. Childrens Hospital patient, Joshua Cooley. Joshua's story started at birth, September 21st, 2004. After two and half days of what looked like a normal delivery of a healthy baby, things quickly turned for the worst. Before we knew it, Joshua was being admitted to the N.C. Childrens Hospital because of a rare and deadly metabolic genetic disorder called Urea Cycle Disorder. Not only did Joshua have the disorder, but he had the worst type of Urea Cycle Disorder, known as Ornithine Transcarbamylase (OTC). OTC is caused by a missing enzyme in the liver that helps break down protein properly. Because of the missing enzyme, ammonia levels rise and cause neurological problems, organ damage, coma, and death. For the next several weeks Joshua battled death everyday. However, we had many people praying diligently and a team of doctors, nurses, and other medical staff work diligently around the clock to care for Joshua. Joshua eventually got better and was able to be disharged after about a month of hospitalization.

Over the next couple of months Joshua continued to battle OTC everyday, including frequent stays in the hospital to treat the elevated ammonia levels. After Joshua's health continued to improve, the metabolic doctors recommended a liver transplant, which is currently the only known cure for OTC. I decided that I would like to be a living donor, where they would take a piece of my liver and give it to Joshua. So on July 7th, 2005 Joshua received the liver transplant and his recovery has been nothing short of a miracle. I really thank God for his blessings over Joshua and I thank God for the doctors, nurses, and medical staff that has been a integral part of Joshua's recovery and success.

Fourth Year in a Row!!

WOW another great event! For some of us the Radiothon is like an annual family reunion where we get to see some familiar faces as well as new faces and everyone is SMILING. Think about it - smiles and a hospital - those two things don't seem to go together, but they so often do here at the NC Children's Hospital. While it is no one's dream to be a patient here or a parent of a patient, it is comforting to know that the quality care, unique specialists, and courage of the children exist.

I am a proud parent of now a preschooler who on his second day of life was transfered here, subjected to a number of tests, medicines, and consultations, but now is stable and sitting here next to me playing with his older brother - a sight that on some of his early days was not forecasted as possible.

I am grateful for the ingeniuty of the doctors, the cutting edge research, and the loving care provided here not only to us but also that I observe being provided to hosts of other families regardless of their child's condition, needs, abilities.

All the best for another successful radiothon. Thank you for all of the care and compassion offered to Sam.

Corry Platt
Proud Parent
Board of Visitors Member

Emily, The Rock Star!

Hi, My name is Emily, I'm 7 years old, and I have Leukemia, But I love it!! Having leukemia hasn't always been fun, but I have more fun days than bad days. I was diagnosed in Providence Rhode Island on April 24th 2004, when I was six. It was scarry at first and it hurt a lot. My doctors gave me a button to push every time I had and that made me feel better. I was in the hospital for 10 days the first time and when I left I felt much better. Dad says I am in Remission, which means the cancer cells are kinda sleeping. We now we live in Fort Bragg NC and come here to UNC every month for a doctor's visit and every three months for a spinal tap to put special medicine in my spine to keep the cancer cells away.
The best part about having leukemia is all the special attention I get. The nurses and doctors are real nice, the play room is always full of toys, and sometimes there's a clown named Mr. Rainbow that makes great balloon animals and says the alphabet backwards. It's real fun! The only think I don't like about having leukemia is having to miss school so much, although so far this year I've only missed four days of school. The people here at UNC are GREAT!! They make me happy and take great care of me.
Don't forget to donate, call 1 -866-9 NC KIDS.

Emily and Dad.

Today's the Day!

Hey everyone! This is Rebecca Simpson. You may have heard me on some of the Curtis Media Radio stations. So far, I've been on WPTF 680, and I think I'll be on a few more in a little bit. I've also been interviewed for TV channel News 14. It's going well here. But, guys, we need some more donations!!! My Dad and I figured the math...the commercial advertising on the different stations this past week for the radiothon said that on average, 40,000 patients are seen here at UNC. 40,000 people is only about 5% of all of Curtis Media's listeners. If 40,000 people each donate $25 dollars (That's $25 a child) during the radiothon, we could raise ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Can you imagine how much that would do for the hospital?? And the best part is, it all goes to the hospital- research, toys, games, movies, supplies. None of these radio people or TV people or volunteers get any of it. It all goes to the kids!
But today is the day. The only day. If you don't give today, you can't give until next year!! And we need the money now- this year! If you've already given, that's great and we thank you- encourage your friends!! If not, please, think about your kids and your family...wouldn't you want someone to help you if it were your child? Thanks for listening!
God Bless...
More from the Radiothon soon...
><>Rebecca Simpson
AML patient
UNC Children's Hospital

We Are LIVE!

Good Morning. We are off and running for another great day--The N.C. Children's Promise 2005. From the very early hours of the morning the folks from the radio stations of Curtis Media and the team from TimeWarner News14 have been busy. Already folks are calling in to tell stories and offer their support. This is a wonderful day for the North Carolina Children's Hospital when we get to partner with the community to help us give the care our children need. There are 11 people working today to take care of each patient that we have in the hospital, all working together to help those children get better. This day is important for the staff of the Children's Hospital to hear from our patients and for you to learn what is done each day. I hope you will come by, listen to us on the radio, or watch the activities on News14. Right now we have a hospital that is full of children who are getting their needed care, cutting edge, that will help them have the best outcomes possible. Thanks for helping us do what we are here to do, to be the hospital for the children of North Carolina.

Alan Stiles, MD
North Carolina Children's Hospital

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Join the celebration! The N.C. Children's Promise happens Nov. 17, live in the lobby of the N.C Children's Hospital. Listen on Curtis Media Group radio stations or watch on News 14 Carolina.

The N.C. Children's Promise will be broadcast from 5 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. on the following radio stations:

94.7 WQDR
96 Rock
La Ley 96.9
680 WPTF
FM Talk 101.1
Country 102.3
620 WDNC
570 WDNZ
730 WFMC
920 WPCM
1150 WGBR
1550 WCLY
Triangle Traffic Network
State Government Radio
For more information on the 2005 N.C. Children's Promise, or to make a donation, please click here.