From mom to mom: A gift born out of gratitude
The gift of a thermal tote bag. It seems like such a small gesture. In fact, it plays an important role in delivering essential nourishment to a most vulnerable population: breast milk to premature infants at Emanate Health Queen of the Valley Hospital's 40-bed NICU. Heather Puckett, an independent consultant with Thirty-One Gifts, spearheaded the fundraiser in response to the life-saving care given to her prematurely born daughter, Shelby.
Heather and her husband, Kent, reside in Orange County. Due to an extensive remodeling project on their home, they decided Heather should spend the final months of her pregnancy at her mother's home in West Covina. Heather made appointments with a new obstetrician and planned to have her baby at Emanate Health Queen of the Valley Hospital. Four weeks before the due date, Heather unexpectedly went into labor. With no time to spare, baby Shelby was born in her grandmother's home, resulting in admission of both mother and baby into Emanate Health Queen of the Valley Hospital. Heather entered the emergency room in shock, while the baby was taken to the NICU.
As both mother and baby recovered, it was important to Heather that she manage to pump and deliver enough breast milk from home to her newborn in the NICU. She used a thermal tote from her bag collection to transport the milk and says she never missed a feeding. Thankful for the care given to Shelby, Heather knew she had to find a way to give back. She utilized social media to promote a NICU Welcome Bag campaign, filled the bags with small essentials for new parents and delivered the thermal bags to the NICU to distribute to other moms. "The nurses have my gratitude for a lifetime," says Heather. "They took care of my baby when I couldn't, and I just fell in love with all of them. Giving these tote bags to other moms is one small way for me to say thank you."
"The gift of thermal tote bags to the NICU moms is a huge help. Our nurses cheer all the moms who pump and transport their breast milk from home to the NICU. Breast milk is considered 'liquid gold'—it contains antibodies which are critical to the growth and development of our little ones."
- Anjanette Gaane, RN, MSN, Director of NICU, Mother Baby and Pediatrics at Emanate Health Queen of the Valley Hospital
If you are interested in ways to give to benefit patients and families at Emanate Health, please call Emanate Health Foundation at 626.814.2421.