Children’s Miracle Network: ECU Health’s smallest patients get the care they need thanks to donations

Published: Jun. 3, 2022 at 11:23 AM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - More than 3,500 “Happy birthdays!” are wished to new babies at ECU Health every year, and while the goal is to send the family home as soon as possible, some infants need further care.

At the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the James and Connie Maynard Children’s Hospital, everything comes in a smaller size.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to these tiny patients.

“The sickest of the sick will come here because we have all of the pediatric subspecialties that we need to help address any concerns,” said NICU medical director Dr. Ryan Moore. “We have just higher level of capabilities.”

Premature babies and infants needing specialized care come to the NICU for help to grow from Dr. Moore and his staff.

Thanks to years of funding from the Children’s Miracle Network, they have the technology to make that happen.

One of the NICU’s most used tools are isolettes that mimic a mother’s womb.

“Having the ability to maintain their temperature is so much easier with this technology,” said NICU nurse manager Allyson Yelverton. “We have the option to wean them out of actually staying in an isolette, all computerized thanks to this program.”

Close by is another gadget thanks to donations from CMN: a NIC-View camera giving parents a nonstop live feed of their new additions.

“They really are awesome,” said Lyndsey Odom, a nurse on the floor. “I can’t imagine going back to not having them and having parents that live 45 minutes or an hour away, even longer, and not being able to see their babies while they’re at work. I can’t imagine going back to that.”

Parents are taking note of these improvements. Some travel from other counties specifically for these technologies.

With more patients, comes the need to expand, and that is fueled by donors.

“They can help with building new spaces so we can support even more babies than we do now,” explained Dr. Moore. “It feeds right back into the children’s hospital and the community.”

When those babies get all the help they need from the isolettes, they head right where they belong: home.

“It is so great to see them from where they start to where they are ending up,” said Dr. Moore. “They go through so much, some of these babies, but when they do make it home, it’s just amazing to look back over the story and see what they’ve accomplished.”

On their way out the NICU doors, each child receives a parting gift from the Children’s Miracle Network.

Silver chains full of charms sit around their necks, each one symbolizing the milestones they’ve conquered and the village that got them there.

You can help more babies celebrate birthdays at Maynard Children’s Hospital! Just click here to learn more about how you can help.

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