When Toni Pagano’s grandson was born six weeks prematurely, he was transported by ambulance to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital.
Now her grandson is almost seven months old and doing fine at home. Upon his discharge, Pagano asked staff what she could do in gratitude for the care he received while at the hospital. What ensued was a new book that she recently published, to benefit several new Mobile Intensive Care Units (MICUs) at Cardinal Glennon.
“I Miss You,” is an activity and coloring book written by Pagano, a member of St. Ambrose Parish on the Hill, and illustrated by local artist Michael Anderson. The book touches on the grandparent-grandchild relationship in the midst of the current health pandemic and was inspired by her relationship with her three grandchildren.
“During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, my constant thoughts were always with my precious grandchildren and how much I missed them,” Pagano wrote in a letter promoting the fundraiser. “Whether we can see our grandchildren or not, we are still connected to them through prayer. That’s how the Holy Spirit enlightened me to write the book. I can still be close to them every time I pray for them.”
Profits from sale of the books will benefit Cardinal Glennon’s MICUs, which are equipped with the latest technology needed to care for critically ill infants and children. The vehicles also have enough room to safely accommodate multiple children, as well as safe seating for families to ride along. The hospital is in the process of purchasing five units, with two already in possession.
The MICUs are staffed by the Critical Care Transport Team, a group of highly skilled paramedics, nurses and respiratory therapists who have advanced training in the safe care and transport of children of all ages, including premature infants. The Transport Team serves over 120 hospitals throughout the region and is available around the clock.
In the case of a life-threatening illness, a child can be stabilized in the MICU and then directly admitted to the hospital. A MICU also can transport high-risk mothers and newborns together, allowing for increased bonding time before hospital admission. These transports will be staffed by blended maternal-infant teams, which are trained to care for both mother and baby in any crisis that may arise.
“It is the outpouring of community support that helps SSM Health Cardinal Glennon carry out their mission on a daily basis,” Pagano wrote. “As a gift-supported institution, the hospital continues to grow thanks to the generosity of our community.”
>> “I Miss You”
“I Miss You,” a new children’s activity and coloring book will benefit fundraising efforts for new mobile intensive care units (MICUs) at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital.
Books may be purchased online at bit.ly/3kechOl.
Donations also may be made through www.glennon.org/how-to-help/ (click on “donate online” and type MICU-PAGANO in the comment section);
Or by check to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation, attention Allyson Kinnevan, 3800 Park Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110. Please include MICU-PAGANO in the memo.