Children’s Miracle Network: Maynard Children’s Hospital celebrates 10 years of miracles
GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -As we get ready for the 38th annual Children’s Miracle Network telethon on WITN, we’re also marking the ten-year anniversary of the James and Connie Maynard Children’s Hospital.
Former Children’s Hospital Medical Director Dr. Ronald Perkin shared the vision for a new children’s hospital in a 2011 video that was shot where the new hospital would be built saying, “Today this is just an empty lot. In the future, it will be a place filled with hope and healing.”
Groundbreaking for the 78,000-square-foot building would come later that year. But Dr. Perkin made clear, “It won’t be just concrete and steel. It will be a place where miracles happen.”
That dream became reality with the ribbon cutting for the $48.2 million James and Connie Maynard Children’s Hospital just two years later in June of 2013.
Dr. Matthew Ledoux is the Pediatrician in Chief at the hospital. “I think first and foremost it gives us, um, really a beacon for the east that there’s a large children’s hospital that’s beautiful that children can come and get cared for here in the east.”
The welcoming beauty of the ocean theme, complete with fish tanks, may be what strikes you first when you enter the hospital, but what has really made waves is the care that is provided, and the cutting-edge technology available. Some of that is through equipment known as ECMO.
Dr. Ledoux says ECMO is a heart-lung bypass machine to treat the very sickest kids, “Where their blood circulates through the machine, gets oxygenated and goes back to their body, a, to sustain them and keep them alive while their body rests and heals.”
The ECMO program was started thanks to your CMN donations. “Before opening the ECMO program we actually had children that couldn’t survive to get to a treatment center to be able to be put on ECMO so that’s why we opened the program to make sure kids in the east had the opportunity to get the highest level of care and not have to travel anywhere.”
Serving 29 counties means patients may have to travel to get to the hospital and that’s why Maynard Children’s Hospital Vice President Kim Crickmore says CMN funds were used to establish a children’s hospital transport team and ambulance dedicated to the care of babies and children.
Sometimes those tiny babies that are born at the hospital need highly specialized equipment. Crickmore says, “Ya know we have isolettes that we put our brand new premature babies in. They run, from a cost perspective, about $54,000. We have 71 of those.”
That adds up to $3.8 million.
The hospital has also seen millions of dollars in renovations to the pediatric intensive care unit, as well as a new state-of-the-art pharmacy.
Crickmore says the new pharmacy was greatly needed. “We have a fairly large pediatric hematology oncology patient population and being able to mix their medication right here in the pharmacy to improve efficiency, to enhance safety, is great. Prior to that pharmacy being built, which was built with philanthropic dollars, we would have to have those medications made in the larger pharmacy and people would have to travel back and forth so it’s just a blessing that we’re able to have that.”
Another blessing that we all get to see when we go by the hospital is when kids get to change the color of the lights there.
Crickmore says, “It’s a milestone designation and so they are allowed to pick the color of their choice and they’re able to push the button to turn the lights inside the children’s hospital lobby as well as the light tower at night and it’s a significance in saying, ya know, my journey has ended from a, needing the care or that I’m celebrating because of my journey.”
There are countless miracles that have happened behind the doors of the hospital since it opened ten years ago, from babies surviving and thriving after being born so small they could fit in the palm of your hand, to kids beating a cancer diagnosis, to others walking out after a terrible accident, and they all have one thing in common. You. Crickmore says your support over the years has helped make it all possible. “We could not do what we do in providing the best care to eastern North Carolina for our children if we did not have that kind of philanthropic support. It’s critical to our mission.”
Dr. Ledoux says, “One of the biggest things about this building when I’m recruiting faculty or staff to come work here is it represents to me the commitment of the community to say pediatrics is important and we want a hospital that’s going to serve our community.”
Ten years in, we reflect on that mission and the promise Dr. Perkin talked about more than a decade ago when he said, “Through the dedication and the commitment of the people of eastern North Carolina our promise of a healthier tomorrow for children will become a reality.”
It is your generosity that brought so many tomorrow’s for kids and families across Eastern Carolina over the years. It is your ongoing support that will ensure that continues.
“And so this hospital really is an amazing place,” commented Dr. Ledoux.
It is a place that has indeed changed kids’ health and changed the future.
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