Need ideas for your holiday decorating? Then you should go on the Jingle Bell Baby Holiday Homes Tour December 3rd & 4th. The proceeds benefit the Avera McKennan Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Nancy Naeve Brown met a Sioux Falls mom whose baby has been in the NICU since September.
Jessica Bierschbach has spent every waking hour in the Avera McKennan's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit watching over her precious baby boy Mason David. He was born September 27th 3 months premature. Jessica and her husband Joe found out at 20 weeks she had a clotting disorder and the baby wasn't getting the nutrients he needed to grow.
4.58.41 Jess says, "The ultra sound showed my blood was too thick to go through the placenta. We went to our appointment hoping to find out if we were having a boy or girl and we found out we weren't sure if we were having a baby."
Mason was born 6 weeks later weighing 1 lb. 3 oz. 11" long. He spent his first 57 days in a Giraffe OminiBed.
Jessica says, "He was so critical. In an instance they would open the top and there would be 4 or 5 people working on him. (He graduated from the Giraffe Bed a week ago). With this bed only 2 people can work on him at one time."
The giraffe omni bed is a fully loaded incubator and radiant warmer in one with all kinds of bells and whistles. It eliminates the stress of moving critically ill infants from bed to bed, but as you might have guessed they are expensive, close to $40,000 each. that's why Avera McKennan is hosting a fundraiser called the jingle bell baby holiday homes tour... a self guided tour of 5 decked out homes in Sioux Falls with all the proceeds going to buy another giraffe bed.
Kelli Fagerness is an RN in the Avera McKennan Breastfeeding Center and organizer of this event. She says, "Two houses are professionally decorated. One of them is by Josephine's Unique Floral and the other by Simply Perfect. One is a Griswold's themed house with lots of crazy lights and decor, that's our fun house and the other two are decorated from head to toe in Christmas. Every room has a tree and a different theme."
The tickets are $10 and you can buy them in the Avera McKennan Gift Shop on the main floor of the hospital. They have each house listed with a map.
Jessica says, "Mason is off the ventilator now, he's on C-PAP and they are feeding him breast milk and formula (through a tube in his mouth). He's growing. He's now 2 lbs. 12 oz."
Considering Mason's due date is still a month away on December 28th his mom knows it may be a while before he comes home. She also knows he probably wouldn't be here at all if it weren't for the great care he's gotten here in Avera McKennan's NICU.
Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center will host the 2010 Jingle Bell Baby Holiday Homes tour at 4:30 – 8:30 p.m. on Friday, December 3rd and 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 4th.
For more information www.AveraMcKennanFoundation.org