Generous individuals from across Kansas have given gifts to the children at Via Christi Hospitals. Here are some of their stories and why those choose to give to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.
Memorial gift for child could save lives of many
A generous donation by a Wichita woman and her family is helping ensure that all Via Christi Hospitals in Wichita have the equipment best suited to help patients of all ages in respiratory or cardiac distress.
Lisa Parsons Schmidt was listening to a Children's Miracle Network Hospitals radiothon when she heard about the great need for pediatric crash carts in Emergency Departments. A crash cart is a wheeled cabinet equipped with all the equipment and medication commonly used in emergency resuscitation, from gloves to intubation equipment to a defibrillator.
"That just clicked with me," said Schmidt, the mother of Mallory, 9, Macy, 6, and a third child, Nicholas, who died shortly after birth six years ago. Nicholas was diagnosed with Trisomy 18, a genetic condition that causes life-threatening heart, kidney and intestinal tract defects. Only 10 percent of children with this condition live to their first birthday. Nicholas survived just 15 hours.
"But we feel so blessed to have had that time with him," said Schmidt. "Since his death, I have been trying to find the perfect way to memorialize him ... but nothing seemed to really 'fit' for my baby." That is, until she heard the radiothon appeal.
"There was nothing that we could do to save my son ... no amount of money, no special medicine, nothing. But this (equipment) could save the life of someone else and give another child a chance at life."
With her parents, Galen and Pam Regehr, and in memory of Nicholas, she donated $2,500 for a new state-of-the-art crash cart for infants and children in the Emergency Department at Via Christi Hospital on St. Teresa. It's the same type used at other Via Christi Hospitals in Wichita.
"Most of our emergency patients have been adults, but we wanted to assure parents that even our youngest patients have the same specialized care here as at our other Via Christi hospitals," said Greg Giefer, respiratory care specialist for Via Christi Hospitals and Resuscitation Committee chairman.
"While this is something we hope we never need, it is reassuring to know it's here if we do."
A gift that keeps on giving
An existing crash cart - different from those used at the hospitals on St. Francis and East Harry - was donated to neighboring Kingman Community Hospital.
"We never know what will come through our Emergency Department doors," said Nita McFarland, RN, director of Nursing at the Kingman hospital. "It's reassuring to know that the pediatric cart is there at our fingertips, holding supplies needed for emergencies involving children."