She was introduced by Rotarian Gayla Massengill, manager of the Gilmer Walmart, which has contributed $46,400 to the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) since 1999.
The speaker used a video presentation to show how an Upshur County child, Andrew Parker, became the CMN “Miracle Child” selected for 2009 in this area.
Now 5, he was playing at his home as a 4-year-old when a neighbor’s car backed over him. A Trinity Mother Frances helicopter and trained crew arrived on the scene to administer prompt treatment for his crushed arm and chest.
He was flown to the Children’s Center at Mother Frances in Tyler, where, despite being so severely injured that he had tire tracks on his body, he was able to go home within a week.
It was in 1988 that CMN designated Mother Frances Hospital as the East Texas region’s Children’s Miracle Network hospital, enabling it to provide specialized technology and services designed specifically to care for pediatric patients.
The Gilmer Wal-Mart has been “a wonderful community partner” in helping develop the Tyler facility, Ms. Rowan said.
Sick childrens’ needs are very different from adults,’ she explained, and the Children’s Center at Mother Frances offers an enviroment specially designed to promote their healing and recuperation through various forms of play. Before it was opened, Dallas was the closest place that offered such a facility, she said.
CMN funds have provided life-saving equipment for the Children’s Center and have helped in opening a neo-natal intensive care unit, Mrs. Rowan added.
Fund-raising is on-going, and all donations to Children’s Miracle Network stay in this area to support pediatric services provided by Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics, the speaker said.
The Network was founded by singing star Marie Osmond with help from her musical family, Ms. Rowan pointed out. Now in its third decade, it is a nonprofit organization that raises funds for more than 170 hospitals treating children worldwide.
The Mother Frances unit that CMN supports includes in-room sleeping quarters for parents and an activity center reserved especially for Children’s Center patients, their families and visitors.
“Whatever it takes to make them heal,” Ms. Rowan summed up the goal.