Friday, August 16, 2013

52 Acts of Random Kindness, Week 3

Makes you want to smile back, right?
Due to an unexpected event, I am now rewriting this entry.  Wednesday morning I decided for my act of kindness this week, and this was completely on a whim that occurred whilst taking my morning shower, to send big Mylar smiley face balloons to all of the 23 toddlers who have the unfortunate pleasure of staying at Arkansas Children's Hospital (ACH) here locally.  I have been very blessed to have such a healthy little girl, and I thank my lucky stars for that everyday, as many things could have gone wrong had fate not smiled upon Piper and me during my pregnancy and her delivery.  She had no genetic disorders for which she ran a very high risk due to my age, and her unusually short umbilical cord, which gave her 6 times likely of a chance to be a stillbornm posed no threat greater than decreasing her heart rate every time I contracted during labor.  Had anything gone slightly in the opposite direction, Piper may have not survived and thrived the way she has.  I'm lucky, she's lucky, and that's something that we will always remember.

They have a great sign!
With that being said, I know there are many children out there who aren't so lucky.  My goal this week was to make a handful of those children smile for a day.  While sending a balloon to a sick child might not seem like much, it was just a small something I could do.  Once I decided this would be my act of kindness for the week, I made several calls to the Infant/Toddler Unit at ACH, got the head count of the toddlers currently staying in rooms, contacted the gift shop, and had each child delivered a smiley face balloon with a card reading "someone is thinking of you today."  I wanted nothing to remind them of their illnesses, so I kept all "get well soon" phrases, or other things of that nature, far away from the surprise each of them received.

I know this was one of the balloon designs sent!
After I had ordered the balloons for delivery, I began reading about ways to help out the hospital.  One of those was by starting a individual fundraising page.  I thought this was a great idea, and it's free to host and all donations are tax deductible.  I have set my page with a small goal of raising $1000.  I've never done anything like this before, so I figured starting small was the best plan.  I will get back to more information about this fundraising page here in just a minute.

After all that I had done throughout the day regarding helping out the children at ACH, an unfortunate turn of events occurred.  It was one of those coincidences that you'd rather not run across, but things happen that we cannot control.  The following day, my niece Maggie went in to emergency surgery at this very same hospital.  She has had a swelling on her neck which was initially thought to be a salivary gland issue.  Actually it was thought to be a lot of things along the way, from mumps to mono and other not so pleasant possibilities.  In then end, after many go rounds with various doctors, she finally ended up with the ENT specialists as Children's.  It came to light that the swelling was from a very infected cyst that had to be surgically removed. The core was the size of about half a baseball and it had about 21 mL of fluid surrounding it.  Now don't quote me on the specifics, this was the last I heard before my brother went running to the hospital yesterday afternoon.

This pic is from last Saturday, and it got much worse from there.
Last night my mom heard from my brother and Maggie had come through the surgery fine, but they had to remove a lot more tissue than expected.  She was in tremendous amount of pain, to the point where they had her on the maximum of everything allowed for pain and they also had her on oxygen.  Every time she woke up she woke up screaming in pain, she couldn't hardly swallow, and last I heard they were maybe going to have to intubate her.  I have yet to hear anything today, as her immediate family is busy speaking with doctors and others on staff at the hospital regarding the surgery, her recovery, and whatnot.  All I know is that the amazing staff at ACH did a remarkable job possibly saving the life of my niece, and that is something that can not be repaid with mere thank yous.

The coincidence of me sending balloons to patients at Arkansas Children's Hospital, setting up a donation page for them, and then having Maggie go into emergency surgery there the following day when we had no inkling this would happen, like I said before, some coincidences you'd rather not have happen.  But all is getting better, Maggie is receiving some of the best care in the nation, and all will be well in the end.

Here is where I'm going to ask you all for a small favor...

When I set up the fundraising page I started the donations with a small $25 one of my own.  Now I am not asking for others to drop $25 into the pot.  But if I could get everyone I know and everyone who reads this to donate just $1, I could reach my $1000 goal within a week, probably even sooner.  I might even go over my initial collection goal.  I didn't expect my act of kindness this week to turn around and hit so close to home, but it has and it makes it that much more dear to my heart.  I hope I can encourage others to also make it dear to theirs and click on the link below which goes to my donation page, and make even a $1 donation today to help ACH continue to save children's lives and provide some of the best care available to children in this nation.  If you can spare more than $1, that would be awesome, too.  And just so everyone knows, the donations do not go to me and then onto Arkansas Children's Hospital.  All donations go directly to the ACH.  And just think, this could be your random act of kindness for the week!

UPDATE:  It was just brought to my attention that the way the ACH has their donation pages set up requires a $5 minimum donation.  I apologize for not realizing this sooner.  They also only take credit cards online, no Paypal.  I'm sure all of this is due to avoid unnecessary fees that would cost them precious dollars and end up as transaction fees, but I really wish I'd known this before asking for $1 donations.  I sincerely apologize if I misled anyone due to my lack of information regarding this issue.  Hopefully I will still be able to raise the funds, it might just take a bit longer. :)

So if you all would, please follow the link and help out if you can!

I'll wrap up this entry with a great big thank you to all who have helped Maggie over at the ACH.  Also, thank you to anyone who sends a donation their way or who simply send Maggie good thoughts for her recovery.  I'm a believer in positive vibes, so vibe away if nothing else!

And to all those children who received a balloon from a stranger on Wednesday, I wish I had a picture of your smiling faces but I am fine just with the knowledge that your day was hopefully brightened a small bit.  I wish you all the best of luck, and I'm sending positive vibes to each of you that you'll be up and out of the hospital in no time!

Thank you ACH for all you do!

And the spiel...

If you enjoy my blog, please do me a random act of kindness and drop a vote for me over at Top Baby Blogs by clicking the button below. Also, feel free to join me on my other Social Media sites by clicking on the additional buttons below that.  I update about all things Piper daily on Facebook, so if nothing else come join us there!

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