Children's Miracle Network: Andrew's story - KOTA Territory News

Children's Miracle Network: Andrew's story

No parent should have to bury their child. In a perfect world our children would be immune from sickness and other harsh life realities. But they're not.
This week, we are sharing miracle stories about local children who beat the odds, and thanks to one local organization, received support throughout their battle.

Andrew's Story

"At my 24 week mark I went into labor," Debbi Baumeister said. Debbi, a first time mother pregnant with twins, describes the moment as terrifying.
And, for good reason.  Twenty-four weeks is the point when babies become viable, however only 40 to 70 percent of babies born at this point survive.

One of the twins, Morgan, didn't make it. "He only made it about and hour and a half, but we were happy to have that time," Andrew and Morgan's father Lenn Baumeister said.

Andrew weighed just 1 pound 8 ounces. "There was a lot of uncertainty as to his survival," Debbi said. After three weeks passed, Andrew's outlook improved. After one month, Debbi was able to hold her baby for the first time. "I didn't know that was going to happen so it was an amazing moment," She said.

Andrew spent three months in the neonatal intensive care unit called Claire's Place at Rapid City Regional Hospital. Debbi says it was there that Andrew received incredible care, and her and Lenn had a support system. "We really owe them a lot," Debbi said.   "You see them every day for three months and you know they remember him," She continued.

The doctors and nurses at Claire's Place are able to provide grade A care, due in part to the life-saving equipment purchased through Children's Miracle Network donations. "We are so lucky to have CMN," NICU nurse Cathy Allen said.  Allan says CMN helps pay for everything from these $35,000 beds called Giraffes, to smaller items that in the end often make the biggest difference. "I've actually seen a hospital without CMN and it's not nice," Allan said.
Of course babies aren't the only kids who benefit from CMN; older pediatric patients do too. "The number of children that our Children's Miracle Network has touched is in the thousands,"Angie Kliewer with CMN said.

The help doesn't stop as the child grows. Today, Andrew is 2 1/2 years old. He's a bit on the small side, but he has a lot of energy. You would never know by looking at him that he had such a rough start. "Children's Miracle Network has given so many people so many blessings and we're just one of them," Lenn said.  "There are so many more people who have their own stories and their own little miracles too," He continued.

You can help children just like Andrew thrive in the most difficult circumstances. May 2, New Rushmore radio stations are having their annual Children's Miracle Network radiothon. That day, you can call (605)755-9199 to donate. Every penny raised stays here.
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