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opening thoughts

Isabella’s Story

“There is no foot so small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world”

On Tuesday, December 21, 2010, my youngest sister learned her first child would be a girl. The excitement shared by our family was immense as we envisioned a pink nursery, a closet full of pink clothes and the joy of watching “our baby girl” grow to her full potential in life. This excitement turned to despair as my sister found herself at Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) the next day with a ruptured membrane at 22 weeks gestation. Despite valiant efforts to maintain her pregnancy, my sister was transferred two days later to a St. Louis hospital equipped with a neonatal intensive care unit. Baby Isabella Simone was born December 25, at 12:42 a.m. and passed away in her daddy’s arms at 2:45 a.m. She was beautiful and perfect with her mommy’s long fingers and her daddy’s nose. I can’t completely express the trauma of watching a beautiful baby enter the world and waiting for the blessed cry to come, knowing we would never hear it. Or pleading for someone to “do something,” all the while knowing, even with all the medical technologies we have today, there was nothing doctors could do to save our precious Isabella. Amidst the whirlwind, we found ourselves struggling to comprehend the enormity and reality of what was happening. During this time, Isabella’s neonatologist sat with us and gave us knowing advice – while Isabella’s life may have been short, she still had a story and it needed to be told. As a family, we have continued to tell her story through the creation of Isabella’s Embrace that benefits the Baby Steps Fund at PCRMC. Isabella’s Embrace was birthed after watching my sister leave the maternity unit with empty arms. No mother should leave the hospital with the pain of empty arms after a loss. During their stay at PCRMC, Isabella’s Embrace provides a stuffed bear to the mother and a handmade outfit and blanket for the baby. While we know these items cannot take the place of a precious baby, and is not expected to, it can ease the pain of emptiness. As the annual giving coordinator for the Phelps Regional Health Care Foundation, I am privileged to be part of many wonderful programs at PCRMC. But one of the projects I am proudest to be involved with is the creation of the Baby Steps Fund and the inception of the Fetal Demise Committee. While this is a “clinical” term, this group knows there is nothing clinical about losing a child. As a group, this committee has worked hard to ensure that every parent is able to celebrate the birth of their child, despite the final outcome. They’ve endeavored to ease the trauma of losing a child by ensuring resources are available when they are needed the most. With this group’s hard work, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings are able to make memories that will last a lifetime and help ease the pain of their loss. They truly understand that every life, no matter how long or short, has a story to tell.

Donia Camarena, Annual Giving Coordinator

Foundation in Focus

Mission Statement

To serve as the philanthropic organization that facilitates charitable donations to support and assist the mission of PCRMC in providing for the health care needs of the communities it serves.

Phelps Regional Health Care Foundation 2012 Board of Directors

Ted Day, R.Ph., President Debbie Schuetz, Treasurer Mary Graham, M.D., Secretary Pat Leaders John Park, Ph.D Mark Riefer Cindy Beger John Denbo, Ex-Officio Kathy Nickason, Ex-Officio

Phelps Regional Health Care Foundation Team

Lorrie Hartley, Executive Director Donia Camarena, Annual Giving Coordinator Lori Moss, Planned Giving Coordinator

How to Donate Visit PCRMC online at

www.pcrmc.com/ Donate Mail a donation to the Phelps Regional Health Care Foundation, P.O. Box 261 Rolla, MO 65402 Call the Foundation office 573-458-7946

Spring 2012  
Spring 2012  

Baby Steps, Sisters Fighting For a Cure, Isabella's Story