We are excited to share that this year marks the 30th anniversary of Walmart and Sam’s Club supporting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals! That is 30 years of their customers, members, and associates putting their hearts and souls into supporting local children’s hospitals, including Connecticut Children’s. To commemorate this amazing milestone, this year the funds they raise for Connecticut Children’s will go towards helping us build a brand new Infusion & Dialysis Center!
Save money and help children live better. This should be the Walmart slogan.
If you’ve visited Walmart you’ve probably been asked to donate to your local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital (at least I hope so or I’m going to have to speak with the cashiers at my store). Throughout Connecticut Walmart locations you’ll hear a very important question being repeated all day, every day, “Would you like to make a donation in support of Connecticut Children’s Medical Center?” Some employees ask because Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is Walmart’s charity partner, I ask because I have a story to go with those words and it began 18 years ago.
My daughter Ashlyn was born ten weeks early (30 weeks gestation) and weighed three pounds. She had several different things going on but most prominent was a heart problem and Hydrocephalus (buildup of too much cerebrospinal fluid in the brain). At four weeks old she received her first of 11 brain surgeries. Thanks to the doctors from Connecticut Children’s she was able to go home on January 1, seven days before her actual due date. Having Connecticut Children’s right in our backyard enabled us to be with her every day without the extra financial burden of having to travel and stay in another state. We have become what I affectionately call “frequent flyers” (seriously we should get free miles somewhere). Having had more than 17 surgeries and countless admissions, it can feel like a second home.
Ever wonder what your donation supports?
Well, besides the amazing doctors, care providers, medical services and research it goes to help with things you’d never know existed – until your family is the one needing help. I’m referring to the Patient Family Suites. These suites have about six bedrooms, enabling parents to stay close to their child who is in the PICU (right down the hall actually). Parents are invited to stay and provided with a private bedroom and a common space equipped with a kitchen, bathrooms, showers and laundry. I can tell you these suites meant the world to us when we were going through some challenging times with Ashlyn’s care.
And talk about taking it to the next level, when she is recuperating, Child Life always stops by with things for her to do such as crafts, visiting artists or movies to watch. All of the additional support provided costs money and that’s what makes that simple phrase so important: “Would you like to make a donation in support of…”
So please, the next time you are in Walmart and the cashiers asks, remember Ashlyn and the kids like her, even donating your spare change will help. Oh and that girl who was born 10 weeks early and has had 11 brain surgeries, she will be entering her freshman year of college at the end of August with the goal of becoming a pediatric nurse at, you guessed it, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford.
Patient Mother and
Old Saybrook Walmart Employee