Erlanger Health System Foundation says it recently received “transformational donations” from two local families for its purchase of two pediatric critical care transport vehicles.
Erlanger Foundation is raising funds to support the Pediatric Critical Care Program at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger, which will include the purchase of two transport vehicles for $1.6 million.
The vehicles will serve as mobile ICUs for patients who need to be transported to Children’s Hospital at Erlanger for trauma and NICU care.
Personal experiences motivated both families to donate toward the purchase of the vehicles, Erlanger notes in a news release.
Heath Haley, local business owner and father of two, says he was born prematurely at an area hospital and had to be transported to Atlanta to receive a higher level of care shortly after he was born.
He recalls hearing his father talk about following the ambulance carrying his newborn son to Atlanta and the toll the separation and uncertainly took on his family.
Now an Erlanger Foundation board member, Haley felt a personal connection to this project, compelling him and his wife, Elizabeth, to help through their Haley Giving Fund.
A potentially tragic event sparked the second donor’s gift. This past June, local automobile dealer and Girls Preparatory School board chair Clay Watson, along with his twin daughters Clayton and Kennedy, were involved in a serious helicopter crash over a remote lava field in Hawaii.
Although Clay’s daughter, Kennedy, sustained multiple serious injuries, everyone on the flight survived.
Kennedy was treated in Hawaii before being transported home to Chattanooga, where she underwent additional surgeries at Erlanger. She made a full recovery in time for her and her sister to start college this past fall.
Watson told Erlanger Foundation he knows firsthand the essential resources needed during an emergency when it involves getting children the care they need at a moment’s notice.
Stefanie Wittler-Beavers, director of major and planned gifts for Erlanger Foundation, says the establishment is grateful for the Haley and Watson gifts and continues to seek the community’s support in completing the project.
“Due to their significant gifts, along with recent proceeds from the Children’s Classic Golf Tournament and gifts from other individuals, Erlanger has raised more than half of the funds needed to buy the two critical care vehicles. These vehicles will save hundreds of young lives a year.”
Erlanger’s Neonatal Transport Team is made up of neonatologists, pediatric intensivists, ICU nurse practitioners, ICU registered nurses, pediatric respiratory therapists and emergency medical professionals who are continually on call to transport patients.
The vehicles will be large enough to allow parents or guardians to ride in the cab behind the driver – with the permission of the physician.
Learn more at erlangerfoundation.org/give.
Source: Erlanger Foundation