Throughout the course of our beautiful baby boy's sickness we were blessed over and over again by the doctors, nurses, staff, and facilities at 3 places that we would like to now raise money (and awareness) for.
These 3 non-profits helped us through the stress and insanity of last week:
1. Arkansas Children's Northwest - this is a brand new children's hospital in Northwest Arkansas
2. Arkansas Children's Hospital - this is the only critical care and ICU dedicated to infants and children in the state of Arkansas.
3. The Ronald McDonald House of Little Rock - this is a house/hotel designed to cater specifically to families with children in intensive care who live outside the Little Rock area.
WHY ARE WE RAISING MONEY?
We have been very fortunate throughout the whole ordeal with great health insurance from Ben's employer (Integration Partners), so we decided that we should take our blessing and pass it on to those who may truly need it.
OUR MATCHING FUNDS
We would like to match every dollar donated through this GoFundMe up to $5,000.
WHERE WILL THE MONEY GO?
We will split the contributions evenly. 1/3 to each of the 3 charities.
That week, we had taken him to our primary care physician twice, in addition to an Urgent Care facility. He was confirmed to have RSV - a severe respiratory virus that can be fatal in infants his age. We were told all three times that there was nothing we could do at that point, besides use a cool mist humidifier, suction his nose, and monitor his breathing.
Over the next 36 hours we monitored him. We watched him go from coughing and runny nose to continual vomiting, wheezing and struggling for each breath. So we loaded baby Theo in the car and took him to Arkansas Children's Northwest emergency room.
They eventually made the decision to air lift him on the Angel One helicopter down to Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock. Only one problem, there was severe weather and possible tornadoes in the area. They attempted to fly the helicopter from Little Rock to Springdale but got diverted To Harrison, AR. So the (awesome) crew got out and hitched a ride with a local EMT crew the rest of the way.
Upon arriving at the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), the doctors decided his tiny body was stressed enough (RSV, Bronchiolitis, and Acute Respiratory Failure) to start him on the ventilation machine.
After many stressful ups and downs - a PIC line procedure, feeding tube, respiratory therapists, and a ton of medications - Theo started getting better.
Finally, a week later, we were able to take our baby boy home!! He's back to smiling and cooing and his normal self!
Although he lost over a pound, he started out pretty chunky so he's still a little above average!
ABOUT ARKANSAS CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL
This hospital is amazing and caters not to just children, but families. The entire time we were admitted, we were given free breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They even had sack lunches for our 2 year old. They have many play places and playgrounds for siblings to occupy themselves while parents help their children get better.
For more information about the Arkansas Children's Hospital go here: http://www.archildrens.org/about-us/about-arkansas-childrens-hospital
ABOUT RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE
This place is truly a "home away from home". Breakfast every morning is provided by Tyson foods, and dinner every night is cooked fresh by a local charity. It's a "community environment" so you get to know other parents with children admitted to the hospital. They have a huge outdoor playground, an indoor play place, a toy room, and a 5th floor dedicated to entertainment and "pampering".
There is even a resident therapy dog "Mac" that hangs around and loves on the families. The staff is composed of mostly volunteers and everyone there loves children and thier families.
For more information about the Ronald McDonald House go here: https://www.rmhcarkansas.org
DELIVERING THE DONATIONS
We are going to use this opportunity to teach our 2 year old son the concepts of generosity, charity, abundance, need, and giving.
We plan on delivering the checks in person in Little Rock and Springdale on April 30 and May 1. We will update with either videos of pictures at that time.
PHOTOS FROM THE EXPERIENCE
- Kara Martin Ault
- Randy Bohrer
- George Miller
- Marguerite Fiore
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