Three Tales, One Network
This is part of a monthly series of "Miracle Memories", personal experiences shared by the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals staff. Nate Graham, Vice President, Hospital Relations recalls a lifetime of experiences with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
My Children's Miracle Network Hospitals story begins with a 9-year-old boy who was sitting in a hospital room at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center with no diagnosis. Sick for two weeks straight, the doctors could not determine the cause. Words like “Cystic Fibrosis” and “Cancer” are being used. His parents are feeding off his resiliency, but fearing the worst. The caring and reassuring faces and voices of the doctors, nurses, and staff provide some comfort, but it is the staff’s confidence that tells them they are in the right place.
Next, I reflect on parents who, at 34 weeks, are on their way to the delivery room to welcome triplets into the world. A team of fourteen of the most well-trained doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, and support staff work together in unison as Baby A, a 5.0 lbs. boy comes out, one minute later, Baby B, a 6.0 lbs. boy follows, and finally Baby C, the 5.02 lb. sister emerges.
Each is assigned a sub team and they are whisked away to the NICU at Riley Hospital for Children where the neonatologist and other experts await their arrival. The parents have to look past the wires, tubes, patches, and machines that obstruct their view to meet these three little blessings, and a nurse is standing by their side to answer any and all questions with the very same confidence displayed in the other situations.
Last, I recall an employee at Riley Children’s Foundation that is being given a tour of Riley Hospital for Children on his first day. It starts with the history as they stand in the Atrium, then a brief stop at the ER, up to the fourth floor to the Cancer Center, to the third floor and the Cardio-Pulmonary Center, down another floor to the NICU and PICU, and finally back to the first floor to the Outpatient Center, Foundation Office, Gift Shops, Chapel, and Family Resource Center.
During the tour the guide is talking about the support they received from Walmart to purchase a Mobile Intensive Care Unit (basically a hospital on wheels), that RE/MAX will be signing a $1 MILLION PLEDGE to the hospital, that the IU Dance Marathon is the largest in the country and supports the Ryan White Infectious Disease Center, and multiple Radiothon Programs are hosted in the Atrium. This is only to name a few of the many partners, programs, and individual donors that are mentioned. Speedway, Circle K, Costco, and Marriott are all donating time and money and to quote the tour guide, “To Make Miracles Happen Every Day!”
It is in that hour that this employee sees the resiliency in the kids, and the fear in the parent’s eyes, but there is something else that he experiences.
It is the familiarity of smiling faces, calming and caring voices, and the confidence in knowing that if you are there you are in the right place. You see, I was that 9-year-old boy without a diagnosis whose doctors were able to provide one despite only 40 pre-existing cases throughout the world. I am the father of the triplets who will soon be 5 years old, as well as the man taking his first hospital tour as an employee in October of 2007.
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has been a part of my entire life, but it wasn’t until that day in 2007 that I began to understand the magnitude and the impact these hospitals have in their communities. If it weren’t for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals fundraised dollars, the equipment that kept my children alive could not be purchased, the research required to learn about my diagnosis would not exist and the smiling faces I have witnessed throughout Riley Hospital for Children might be more somber.
It is my goal as Vice President of Hospital Relations at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals to show that same confidence and to share our Mission as the need for more funding has never been greater.
After all, the people who rely on 170 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals depend on them throughout their entire lives.