SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend is experiencing record numbers of babies in its neonatal intensive care unit.
At one point last week, there were 36 babies in the NICU. They’re all receiving great treatment, but those working in the NICU say this just highlights the need for more equipment as the numbers increase.
A two-day radiothon is set to start at Sacred Heart Medical Center Thursday with the goal of raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for Children’s Miracle Network to help local families like Rachael Brecko.
A beautiful but small bundle of joy is lighting up her life. Baby William was born at 28 weeks and one day.
“He came at 2 pounds 4.6 ounces and 14 inches long,” Brecko said.
His temporary home is in the NICU at RiverBend. He spent the first couple weeks in an isolette and then just recently graduated to a crib.
“As a mom, you are excited about delivering, and my sister has had perfect natural deliveries. I see that and think, ‘Oh that’s what I am going to have and then that doesn’t happen,” Brecko said.
Brecko’s daughter Katelyn also spent three months in the NICU after she too was born at 28 weeks. Katelyn and William are two of the nearly 600 infants a year treated at the NICU out of nearly 3,000 deliveries.
“As a mom I want to take him home, but it’s so important the machines and it keeps them alive,” Brecko said.
But the machines are extremely expensive. One ventilator costs around $35,000. And with 36 babies in the NICU, the need for equipment is growing.
“Having the unit this full it can be a scary thing,” said John Esa, Children’s Miracle Network Director.
But thankfully help is on the way, and the Children’s Miracle Network says you to can help the KOOL Cares for Kids Radiothon, which starts Thursday and runs through Friday. One-hundred percent of funds raised are funneled here to treat sick or injured babies.
“When it comes to saving these kids’ lives, providing things like a $40,000 isolette or an open-bed air warmer, $30,000 ventilator system, and all of these things are really vital, and they help kids at different levels of care they need,” Esa said.
Brecko knows she has her precious little ones to hold because of the technology and staff there, and hopefully in the not-so-distant future she’ll be carrying William out of there forever.
Brecko actually raised money for Children’s Miracle Network while she was in high school. She says it’s amazing to think she raised money for an organization that would, in turn, help save her babies lives.
For more information on the radiothon and number to call on Thursday and Friday, click here.