While some parents are able to experience the joy of bringing their newborn baby home shortly after birth, many spend their first days, weeks or even months visiting their child in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Lurie Children’s.
Though our most fragile patients are surrounded by the highest-quality care and top medical staff, time spent with parents can often be the most important element of care for infants in the NICU. For moms and dads, it is just as essential as they grow and strengthen the bond with their newborn child. The precious moments spent holding your child, rocking your child to sleep or reading to your child can mean the world to families going through a difficult period.
While quality time contributes to health and healing for children in the NICU, transportation to and from the hospital – specifically parking costs – can pose a significant financial burden for patient families. Thanks to the support of the Jackson Chance Foundation, families in the NICU can spend time at the hospital without worrying about the costly parking expenses that come along with lengthy hospital stays.
Jackson Chance, born in November 2011, spent his entire life in the hospital – four months at Prentice Women’s Hospital and six months at Lurie Children’s. His parents – Carrie and Terry – spent every day by his side. After fighting a chronic lung condition for the 10 months of his life, Jackson passed away in his mother’s arms while holding his father’s hand. Carrie and Terry, felt that their time with Jackson truly contributed both to his happiness and quality of life.
“Jackson was so happy during his 10 months and we believe that had to do with the amount of time we were able to spend with him,” says Carrie. “Lurie Children’s became our home and the people there became like family.”
To ensure all families are afforded the same opportunity, Carrie and Terry formed the Jackson Chance Foundation in their son’s memory, which then paved the way for the NICU Transportation Program at Lurie Children’s. The program provides complimentary transportation to all families for every day their child is in the NICU.
“It makes us proud to be able to take away one significant worry for families so that they’re able to focus on the health of their child.”
Because of generous donors throughout the Chicago area, the Jackson Chance Foundation has raised more than $1 million over the course of three years, which has enabled them to offer the program to every family in the NICU at Lurie Children’s.
“The response from patient families has been overwhelming – the cards, letters and handwritten notes we’ve received from parents in the NICU make us proud to carry on Jackson’s memory in such a meaningful way each and every day.”
You too can help support families in the NICU. Purchase tickets to the Jackson Chance Foundation’s 3rd Annual Ping Pong Ball on October 29.