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This Year’s Special “Fund a Cause” Initiative

Imagine a newborn, just six days old, who is at death’s doorstep. Mom and Dad say goodbye as she is taken into surgery, not knowing if her condition is repairable. Although she knows it might be too late, the pediatric surgeon begins her lifesaving work.

That is the story of Caroline Fennemore, and her parents Kelly and Jason Fennemore of Naples. Caroline was born with a twisted bowel that caused her to vomit green bile from the day she was born. By her sixth day of life, she was very ill, but the cause was unclear, and the closest hospital wasn’t equipped to care for a newborn. She was transported to Golisano Children’s Hospital, where she received lifesaving surgery by Dr. Amy Stanfill, pediatric surgeon at Golisano Children’s Hospital, who untwisted her bowel and closed a hole in her stomach. She spent three-and-a-half weeks in recovery at Golisano Children’s Hospital, not far from home.

Today, Caroline is a healthy, thriving 14 month old, who is beginning to walk, loves being read to and plays with her three-year-old sister Ava. Her mother says you would never know it happened, and that’s a beautiful thing.

“As soon as the transport team from Golisano arrived, it was like day and night,” said Kelly Fennemore, Caroline’s mother. “It gave me such peace to see they had what they needed to treat her, the equipment and the skills that the other hospital didn’t. It was a life and death situation, and that equipment is part of what saved her life.”

Fennemore refers to the special pediatric surgical tools, technology and other equipment used at Golisano Children’s Hospital to provide lifesaving care to young patients. Dr. Stanfill and other pediatric surgeons use special instruments for treating patients in a range of ages, from newborns to teenagers. Additionally, the hospital relies on the latest technology, and an array of other equipment that is anything but one-size-fits-all.

“We have learned from some of the leading children’s hospitals across the country what new emerging technologies are critical to providing the highest quality care to our patients and families,” said Kathy Bridge-Liles, chief administrative officer, Golisano Children’s Hospital. “Just as many professionals rely on technology to achieve their goals, we will rely upon technology to protect the little ones in our care.”
To help provide everything a state-of-the-art children’s hospital needs to effectively serve its patients, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. presents “A Million Reasons to Give,” calling on auction bidders and the entire community to help give the new Golisano Children’s Hospital approximately $1 million in special pediatric tools, equipment and technology to ensure quality care for young patients.

From specialized surgical trays featuring tiny tools to anxiety-soothing MRI suites designed to put children at ease so accurate images can be captured, each item on the “A Million Reasons to Give” list improves the patient experience for little ones, and will save lives. The latest advancements help pediatric health providers avoid unnecessary pokes to locate tiny veins and utilize smartphone technology in the NICU to monitor infants who can’t call for help on their own. Every item is important to the health and wellbeing of young patients.
“What we need are physical things, but what you’re really providing is something intangible and so much more valuable,” said Dr. Stanfill. “It’s lifesaving surgery on newborns that weigh less than five pounds. It’s surgery for a teenager that might literally change the course of his life.”
For the first time, the “Fund a Cause” initiative is featured online, allowing anyone to donate directly to the purchase of lifesaving equipment and technology. You don’t have to wait for the event or even purchase tickets. You can view the specific needs and make a donation to purchase the equipment of your choice at any time.

“As a parent who has been there, I know the tools and equipment you donate will make a big difference in people’s lives,” adds Fennemore. “It is such an important thing to have the right equipment, good equipment. It saved Caroline’s life.”