Five Years Later

Prior to the pandemic, we traditionally organized a summer community service project.  Sometimes we collected non-perishable items for a food pantry.  Other times we’ve collected toys and clothes.  This year we’re bringing back our summer community service project to benefit Chandler Regional Medical Center’s Eat Sleep Console Program.  There’s a story behind our selection of this organization.  First a bit about the program.  

Eat, Sleep, Console (ESC), is “an evidence-based, patient and family-centered model to safely manage withdrawal symptoms and provide the best of care possible for both mom and baby.”  The program supports families with babies who have been exposed to opioids in utero and are born with NAS (neonatal abstinence syndrome).  Family members stay in the NICU with the baby throughout the withdrawal process, feeding, comforting, and holding the child in a quiet, low-stimulus environment. The program enables the baby to make this transition more quickly with a reduced need for medication.  Additionally, families are coached by the excellent nursing staff on how to care for these special babies.  

I know about ESC because our family was one of the first to participate in Chandler Regional’s program. Five years ago we were anxiously awaiting the birth of my great-granddaughter.  Big decisions about her care were determined just days before she was born, and once she arrived, other decisions were made.  One of the most significant ones was the invitation for our family to participate in the hospital’s newly established ESC program.  It changed our lives, gave us critical skills for caring for our newest family member, and gave us hope that she would have a healthy, promising life.  Being in the ESC program gave us support we needed to not only manage the care of a newborn, but also attend to other parts of the situation that were both concerning and heartbreaking.  The program served as a foundation from which we’ve moved forward as a family, and still rely on to this day.  

When we left the hospital after eleven days, I mentioned to the director that we’d love to do something to help the program.  Organizing this service project is part of that intention to give back.  As we approach the fifth birthday of our youngest family member, memories of that time come flooding back.  Like the Seed, it’s a program that is saving lives and setting the stage for many children to have successful and healthy futures.  I invite you to consider participating in this project.    Here are the items we’re collecting through July 10th:

for babies:
swaddles (lightweight)
front carriers or wraps
diapers/water wipes
diaper cream for babies
sound machines 

for moms:
hair ties
lip balm
cozy socks 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.