Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals & Miracle Harvest

The morning after open heart surgery, my brother Chris helps his daughter sit up in her crib at Primary Children's Hospital.

A few months ago my 4-month old niece had open heart surgery.  She, like millions of other babies, was born with a heart defect that created a hole in her heart.  For most babies the hole heals on its own and goes unnoticed.  For my niece Kylie, the hole stayed open, causing blood to flow backwards into her lungs.  The only solution was to patch the hole in her tiny heart.

The morning after open heart surgery, my brother Chris helps his daughter sit up in her crib at Primary Children's Hospital.
The morning after open heart surgery, my brother Chris helps his daughter sit up in her crib at Primary Children’s Hospital.

The condition is known as a Ventricular Septal Defect, one of the most common heart defects in babies.  Kylie’s team of doctors at Primary Children’s Hospital told her parents that her surgery would be routine and simple.  They would crack open her tiny chest and patch up her tiny heart.  They promised she would be just fine.

Three days after surgery, Kylie is happy despite her pacemaker wires.
Three days after surgery, Kylie is happy despite her monitor wires.

Just an hour later little Kylie came out of surgery, hooked to a pacemaker, draining tubes and every monitor imaginable.  In only five days, she was healthy enough to leave the hospital.  Now six months old, Kylie has shown more strength and courage than most adults.  She is happier and healthier than ever and more responsive than I’ve ever seen.  Her scar, the only evidence of her surgery, is already fading.  Turns out, her doctors were right.

The team of doctors and staff at Primary Children’s Hospital are the heroes in Kylie’s life.  (Not to mention her resilient parents!)  So when I was invited by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals to share the news of their new fundraiser, which benefits Primary Children’s Hospital, I jumped at the chance to get involved.

Trying the new Miracle Harvest products at the CMN Headquarters.
Trying the new Miracle Harvest products at the CMN Headquarters.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is an international non-profit organization that raises money for children’s hospitals, treatment and medical research.  Founded in Salt Lake City in 1983, they have raised an astounding $4.7 billion dollars in 30 years, supporting 170 hospitals around the world.  Most donations are kept in local communities, making sure that donors’ money helps those nearest to them.

CMN’s newest fund-raising project is called Miracle Harvest.  They  teamed up with Simple Truth food producers to create a line of salad dressings and pasta sauces to sell in local grocery stores.  I was invited to a bloggers’ luncheon to try the three types of pasta sauces and dressings at the CMN headquarters right here in Salt Lake City.

Miracle Harvest Products
The Miracle Network products. [Image via CMN.]
There are three types of salad dressings :: Balsamic Vinegar, Italian and Ranch ($2.89/each), and three variations of pasta sauce :: traditional, garlic herb and tomato basil ($2.99/each).  (The garlic herb was my favorite.)  All the products are sold at Associated Food Stores, Smith’s and Harmon’s.  The best part is all profits benefit Primary Children Hospital.

Kylie at her 6 month check up, chubby and healthy.
Kylie at her 6 month check up, chubby and healthy.

Next time you’re shopping for salad dressing and pasta sauce, grab the one with the Miracle Harvest label to support Primary Children’s Hospital.  I love the idea of supporting the place that saved my niece’s life by the simple act of eating.  Follow the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital on twitter or friend them on facebook for more updates.

Thank you Chris, Ashley and Kylie for letting me share your inspiring story for this post! 
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