Do you like swimming, hanging out with friends and helping out a great cause? If so, you’ve come to the right place! The 13th annual Swim for Melissa is Saturday, August 4th from 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the Hampton Cove Pool. Children ages 4-14 can simply form a team of eight friends or family members, sign up at www.swimformelissa.org and send the link to their page out to family and friends. The day of the event, each team has five minutes to swim as many laps as they can. They can also enjoy games on the lawn of the Hampton House and food from Donatos Pizza. It’s a day of fun for the whole family!
Proceeds from the 2018 Swim for Melissa will be used to purchase a Voyager Isolette for Huntsville Hospital’s Kids Care Critical Care Transport ambulance. This important piece of medical equipment helps regulate an infant’s temperature and monitors vital signs such as heart rate, respiratory rate and blood pressure. The Voyager Isolette also contains a ventilator for babies who need help breathing and a high-frequency ventilator for babies in respiratory failure who need greater assistance. As Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children houses the area’s only RNICU, the Kids Care ambulance travels to hospitals throughout the region, some as far as 70 miles away, to bring critically ill babies and newborns to Huntsville Hospital quickly. This “ICU on wheels” is the region’s only pediatric critical care ambulance and is staffed 24/7 by highly trained pediatric and neonatal medical teams. The Voyager Isolette will ensure that babies on board – some born as early as 23 weeks – have access to the most up-to-date medical equipment during a time when every second counts.
The Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund
Amy and Chris George established the Melissa George Neonatal Memorial Fund at Huntsville Hospital Foundation in 2005 in memory of their daughter, Melissa Suzanne, who passed away in the Neonatal ICU at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children. She and her twin sister, Ann Catherine, were born 14 weeks early on June 1st, 2005, and both weighed less than two pounds. Ann Catherine went on to spend 68 days in the RNICU and is now a healthy 13-year-old.
Money raised through Melissa’s Fund is used to purchase lifesaving medical equipment for the RNICU at Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children. Our RNICU is the only Level III intensive care unit for critically ill infants in the north Alabama region. The Neonatal ICU staff of four neonatologist and 140 nurses care for more than 1,000 babies from across the Tennessee Valley each year. In 13 years, Melissa’s Fund has raised $3.2 million dollars and purchased hundreds of items for the RNICU where their daughters received care. It’s all made possible by fundraising events, like Swim for Melissa, and the generosity of donors across north Alabama.