CROWN POINT, Indiana - Parents whose babies are patients in the neonatal intensive care unit at Franciscan Health Family Birth Center Crown Point recently received gift bags containing such items as toothpaste, toothbrushes, games, books, shampoo and premature infant clothing from the Crete, Illinois-based Cookie Link Club, a 17-year, 30-member group of friends who gather for fellowship during the holiday season and collect donations for community causes.
The NICU donation came about when Liz Perez, left, a Franciscan Health oncology department employee, contacted friend Linda Mueller-Filipiak, center, club founder; to ask if the group could help the NICU.
Perez's grandson was a patient there recently, as well as her niece's daughter and a friend's son.
"The NICU nurses and staff are phenomenal," Perez, of Highland, said, adding, "The treatment of my daughter (also a Franciscan Health employee) and my niece (likewise a Franciscan Health employee) and their babies was amazing. I asked Linda if we could do something for all the moms who have to stay in the hospital – no one expects a premature baby."
Edythe Oliver, NICU manager, right; and Carrie Renschen, birth unit and NICU director; were thankful for the gifts. "We are grateful to anyone who donates to the NICU, but we are more grateful for the positive experiences the parents had and that they find the care so good and compassionate. It's not easy having a baby in the NICU," Oliver said. Added Renschen, "It's great the Cookie Link group gives back to the community and thinks of the parents and what they can use. It’s great to hear the compliments. Our nurses have a wealth of experience and knowledge."