Avera Medical Minute: Mary Madeline Project - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Avera Medical Minute: Mary Madeline Project

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Volunteers help grieving parents. Volunteers help grieving parents.

This little dress is handmade by nurse Mary Metzger. It's a gift to the grieving parents who must dress their baby for a burial.

For babies who die prematurely, it's often difficult to find something small enough.

"A lot of time its unexpected so that's the last thing that they have to worry about (the) clothes or blanket or something like that. We can provide that for them," said Nurse Metzger.

The gowns and blankets are given to babies who die in the first weeks of life, and stillbirths. They're made from donated formal dresses and wedding gowns like the one Deloris Yaroch donated.

"When I donated this dress I figured it was entirely fitting that I honor him and his memory," said Yaroch who donated her 59 year old wedding dress in memory of her husband "Woody".

The mother of 10 wanted to do something to help parents say good-bye to the baby they barely had the chance to say hello to. For Nurse Metzger who works in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Avera McKennan, it's also hard to say goodbye.

"Even though I've done it for several years it's still something that you know, you get attached to them," she said. "And you know it's still sad."

The National organization was founded in memory of Madeline Marie Erickson who died at seven weeks of age, and in honor of all the babies before and after her.

If you're interested in donating dresses or volunteering to sew, please call 322-8271. To make donations to the Mary Madeline Project please contact the Avera McKennan Foundation at www.averamckennanfoundation.org

If you have questions call 877-AT-AVERA or visit this website: www.averamckennan.org


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