Olean Family Gives Back to Rochester's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

May 23, 2002

A husband and wife traveled two hours from Olean, N.Y., to Rochester last week to visit the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong. They presented the staff with a mannequin doll that will be used to educate parents of babies about some of the unique aspects of care their babies require.

Kerrie and Daniel Parr, of Olean, experienced the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) firsthand last year, when their daughter, Janelle, was unexpectedly born two months prematurely at Olean General Hospital. The NICU transport team - a group of highly trained doctors and nurses who go to outlying locations via ambulance to transport ill newborns - went to Olean and brought Janelle to Golisano Children's Hospital.

Janelle was born with a large mass in the back of her throat, which was restricting her breathing. Arthur Hengerer, M.D., chief of pediatric otolaryngology at Golisano Children's Hospital, performed surgery to remove the mass, and Janelle spent more than two months in the NICU. In a tragic and unrelated turn of events, the baby died in January from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

During the hospitalization, Janelle required a tracheostomy. Her parents were taught how to care for Janelle at home, but they noticed that the NICU didn't have a mannequin on which they could practice this type of care. To honor Janelle and help other families facing similar circumstances, the Parrs raised enough money to buy a mannequin doll. The doll will allow parents to practice special tasks such as changing tracheostomy tubes, caring for gastrostomy tubes, and doing catheterizations.

Money from several fund-raisers held in the Olean area - more than $1,500 - was used to buy the mannequin, which was presented in the NICU on May 15.

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