MEMPHIS, Tenn. - - Le Bonheur Children's Hospital will be able to save the lives of more children, and give more parents peace of mind thanks to a generous donation.
We're talking about $2 million from Trish and Carl Ring. The money will fund about a dozen current programs, including "Be Proud! Be Responsible!" and "Healthy Families".
"Be Proud! Be Responsible!" is a program that lost federal funding this past summer, which makes this donation key. The program seeks to prevent unwanted teen pregnancies.
"Healthy Families" is a program that provides Le Bonheur-trained mentors to pregnant teens and adults who need help. Those who gave birth within 30 days of applying also qualify. These mentors guide and support the families they're assigned to until the child in question turns five.
Lamiracle Scott has benefited from this program. Her son Dallas is about to turn one, a birthday she feared he'd never see.
"It's hard," she says.
Dallas was born prematurely with heart and lung problems. Thankfully, Le Bonheur took care of him and gave his 22-year-old mom a mentor, who's held her hand through seven surgeries. With her son still in the hospital today, Scott relies on her mentor for guidance and support, especially when the child's father is working.
"(We) laugh together, cry together," Scott says, "Any type of help, she's there. I can call her anytime."
"Children don't come with a manual. So, we are the manual, "Le Bonheur Clinical Manager of Maternal Child Marilyn Smith says, "We model behavior. We teach parenting skills."
Luckily, Scott's baby boy is getting better every day.
"Hopefully, we get to go home soon," Scott says.
It's been a difficult journey, made easier by a hospital that wants to help more mothers just like Scott.
Another program similar to "Healthy Families" is "Nurse Family Partnership". It too will benefit from the $2 million donation.
NFP helps first-time, mostly low-income moms. In that program, a nurse is assigned to a mom and helps her for two years.