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A Palmyra woman brought her own miracle to the Lebanon County Commissioners’ meeting this week to tell the officials about the many miracles happening with the help of the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital Miracle Network.
Leidra Horton brought her healthy three-year-old daughter, Daisy, to the meeting to introduce her to the commissioners and tell them about the help the family had received from the Children’s Miracle Network when Daisy was born after only 26 weeks of gestation.
A normal pregnancy lasts 40 weeks.
In response, Lebanon’s Mayor Sherry Capello read a proclamation honoring the Children’s Miracle Network, stating the Hershey hospital was “one of the elite children’s hospitals in the world,” and proclaiming the week of November 3- 9, “Children’s Miracle Network Week.”
Since 1984, its founding year, the Children’s Miracle Network has raised more than $74 million for children who have been born too soon or are medically fragile.
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is an international nonprofit organization that has affiliations with 170 children’s hospitals.
County Administrator Jamie Wolgemuth read a second proclamation honoring the organization, stating it “enhances the care and well-being of children and families,” and recognizing the work of the 445 Foundation, a group that raises funds for the network.
Founder and current treasurer of the 445 Foundation, Rick Rhoade, was on hand to thank the county commissioners for their support and to remind folks to join in for the 28-hour fund raising radio marathon on WQXA-FM, 105.7 “The X.”
Listeners may call in and make a donation to have a particular song played, and Mayor Capello asked everyone to support the fund-raising marathon.
“Last year, thanks to the mayor’s office and the county commissioners, we were able to raise and donate $12,000 to the Children’s Miracle Network,” Rhoade said. “This year, I think we’ll be able to beat that number.”
The Foundation has been raising funds since 1991, Rhoade said, and became a non-profit 501(c)(3) in 2003.
The name of the foundation comes from the numeric designation of the local union when Rhoade worked at the county Alcoa plant, he said.
The 28-hour radio marathon will take place over November 7 and 8.
Horton told her own story to the commissioners, saying she was admitted to the Hershey Medical Center when she was only 26 weeks pregnant and going into labor.
Physicians told her the child might have a myriad of health issues, including blindness and cognitive problems.
Daisy was born at one day over 26 weeks and was immediately whisked into the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, where she had a breathing tube inserted. The tube stayed in place for 12 hours, then Daisy was switched to a nasal cannula to receive oxygen.
She was hooked up to all sorts of tubes and wires, her mom said.
The infant was so anemic that she needed a blood transfusion and her heart would beat too slowly, causing her to turn blue and gray.
“You can’t imagine what that was like,” Horton said. “As a mother, you have to put all your faith in the medical professionals taking care of her.”
Daisy received two years of early intervention help, Horton said, adding that she has made great strides.
“Today, she is a happy, healthy little girl,” Horton said.
Daisy told the officials that she will be going to kindergarten soon.
Daisy’s one-year-old brother, Lex, was also at the meeting, while father Jeffrey Horton was not able to attend.
“The key component of this experience was the Children’s Miracle Network,” Horton said. “Even in the NICU, the bed she was on regulated her body temperature and that was a gift of the Children’s Miracle Network. They have all the resources needed to help. We owe them so much.”
In another matter, Recorder of Deeds Dan Bost and Veterans Affairs manager Scott Kohr unveiled the new veteran identification badge that can be obtained from Kohr’s office in Room 106 in the courthouse.
The badge is about the size of a driver’s license and will have the veteran’s picture on one side.
The impetus behind the new badge came after a local veteran complained to Bost and Kohr that a local big box store had denied him a discount.
The men brought their idea for a veteran’s badge to the commissioners.
“We’re up and running now,” Kohr said. “We thank you for your help.”
The upcoming Veterans Day on November 11 should bring out a significant number of veterans to get the ID, Kohr said.
So far, 57 veterans have come to the courthouse to have their photo taken and get the ID card.
“It’s no problem; the whole process takes about 10 minutes,” Kohr said. “We’re getting the word out to the community and we’re ready.”
If the veteran’s discharge papers, or form “DD214” is on file, the veteran only needs to bring proof of identification when he comes to get the new ID badge.
If they don’t have their discharge papers, they can be obtained from the Lebanon County Veterans Affairs Office.
The Lebanon Veterans Administration Medical Center has veteran ID cards, but the veteran has to be registered with the facility to get one, Kohr said.
Or, veterans can get ID cards from Fort Indiantown Gap if they are 100 percent disabled or retired from the National Guard.
“This is for veterans who don’t have disabilities,” Kohr said. “Most vets are in the situation where they don’t have a specific card identifying them as a veteran.”
With the new ID card, veteran can get discounts at many local businesses, Kohr said.
“Not every business offers that, but I’d say ‘just ask them,’ because there aren’t many places who will turn down a veteran,” Kohr said.
Walk-ins to Kohr’s office are welcome, but a phone call to make sure he is available is advised. The number to call is 717-228-4422.
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