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Family Commemorates Son’s Birthday with Gift to Hospital NICU

Athens, Ga. (September 5, 2019) – As the Peacock family made plans to celebrate youngest son Jake’s 10th birthday, they knew they wanted to do something to commemorate his time in Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center’s level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and how far he’s come since his hospital stay when he was first born. The family landed on the perfect gift – something that not only helped Jake when he was first born, but also will help train staff caring for newborns in the future.

“I was 29-weeks pregnant with Jake when my water broke,” Lisa Peacock said. “His original due date was May 18, but he came March 18, 2009. When he was born, he weighed three and a half pounds. He wasn’t breathing properly and was battling sepsis.”

When Lisa first delivered her son, staff from the hospital’s NICU had to resuscitate him, and because of his premature state, they took him to Piedmont Athens Regional’s NICU for further care.

“I’d delivered him through C-section and was recovering from the procedure, so I wasn’t aware of how sick he was for the first few hours of his life,” Lisa said. “At that time, he was in the hands of the NICU staff, and I’m so grateful for the amazing, compassionate care they showed him.”

Newborn Jake went through many challenges during the six weeks following his birth, and his parents would visit him there every day. All the while, NICU staff cared for their son and helped them celebrate little milestones as his health improved.

“They were all so encouraging and accommodating – no matter the situation,” Lisa said about the NICU staff. “They even helped us celebrate Jake’s first Easter when he was still in the NICU. We’ve just always wanted to do something for them to show our thanks.”

This year, as her son’s 10th birthday approached, Lisa and her husband Jeff knew they wanted to do something special to commemorate the major milestone, especially after all the challenges Jake had experienced as a baby.

“We always attend the annual NICU reunion, so Jake and our family can reconnect with the staff members who we grew close with during that time,” Lisa said. “But this year, we wanted to do more.”

The family wanted to gift to the NICU something that would not only have an impact on the nurses and other staff members who work there, but also help newborns like Jake.

Through the Piedmont Athens Regional Foundation, the Peacocks gifted the NICU with a premature baby manikin for care and resuscitation skills training. This realistically proportioned simulation trainer enhances training and development of staff in responding to emergent events in the NICU or at the time of delivery.

This educational equipment is valued at more than $2,500.

“The training manikin that our unit currently has is worn out and outdated,” said Lindsay McCloskey, RN, clinical manager of the Piedmont Athens Regional NICU. “We use these manikins in many different educational settings throughout the year, including annual staff training, resuscitation certification, mock scenarios and community education for those interested in going into the neonatal healthcare field.”

McCloskey added, “This critical skill of neonatal resuscitation is what helped Jake when he was born so early, and we are so very grateful for this meaningful gift from Jake’s family and know it will be used to touch many lives. We are honored that our team made such a difference in their lives.”

Not only will Jake have a happy 10th birthday, but his family’s gift has ensured that the NICU remains equipped to provide critical education to a talented team of neonatologists, nurse practitioners, nurses and respiratory therapists.

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