Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Very Special Post.

As many of you know, Arkansas Children’s Hospital holds a special place in my heart. And two years ago today, we brought Brayden home.

Before January 15, 2009 I had never been to ACH. I hadn’t even heard that much about it, though it’s nearly impossible to live here and not know someone who has been touched by the doctors and nurses there.

Brayden was born with a rare condition called PPHN or Persistant Pulmonary Hypertension of the Neonate (Newborn). In short, Brayden’s body didn’t realize he was born and was not oxygenating his blood. You know how when you go to the doctor they check your oxygen levels? Usually it’s 99 or 100…Brayden’s was in the 40’s. At first, no one could figure out what was wrong. He was transferred from the hospital he was born at to another local hospital. Finally, the neonatologist there diagnosed his condition. The problem was that he had been without adequate oxygen for an extended period of time. ACH was called in – they flew down to get him that night.

(Team Brayden)

We ended up spending 5 long weeks at ACH, though of course, 5 weeks is a short visit for some patients. The thing that stood out to me the most is that ACH doesn’t feel like a hospital. It’s hard to describe…but it just doesn’t. I think a large part of that feeling comes from the people who work there. Everyone – every single person – from the security at the front, to the insurance workers, to the cafeteria workers and the doctors and nurses, they all go out of their way to treat you like an individual. You aren’t a number or just another patient (or in our case, parents of a patient) you are Jenna. And Chris. And Brayden. Everyday when we would go down to the cafeteria for lunch they would ask us how Brayden was doing. When I would venture out to the gift store or to the coffee station – they would call us by name and carry on a conversation with us. When our doctors would meet with us to discuss what was going on with Brayden, they were talking person to person. I never had the feeling of a cold bedside manner or that my son was just another number to them. Everyone who works there truly, honestly cares.

Because of that individualized care and because God just had a bigger plan for him, Brayden improved at miraculous rates. His doctors were willing to try out of the box ideas and give him the chance to fight on his own instead of going right into surgery. I can never repay them for all they’ve done for our family.

(Brayden's favorite nurse, Sayward)

But one thing that I do is get involved with fundraisers for ACH. Chris and I have done radio-a-thon’s and even a TV interview all in hopes of raising awareness and funds for ACH. And now I have a unique opportunity for YOU to get involved too!

My friend Jaimi recently wrote a children’s book called Silly Sock. Silly Sock focuses on teaching children that no problem in life is too big or too small to put in His hands! God loves us and wants to help us and guide us!

50% of all purchases of Silly Sock are going to go directly to ACH! So if you have kids, nieces, nephews, grandkids, friends with kids, friends who are going to be having kids (you get the picture) this is a great little gift to buy them AND it is benefitting a great cause!!

If you’re interested in purchasing a Silly Sock book (or books!) please go here.

A note from my friend Jaimi, the author of Silly Sock:

From February 14th to February 28th, 50% of all proceeds from the sale of my new children's book "Silly Sock" will be donated to Arkansas Children's Hospital in Honor of Logan Grant Villines. To purchase books, you may visit or Our goal is to raise $1400.00 in 14 days. You may also donate books directly to the children of Arkansas Children's Hospital. I know this would be a blessing to them. If you wish to donate a book or books to them, please make your purchase at and put Arkansas Children's Hospital, 1 slot 661 Children’s Way, Little Rock, AR 72202-3591 as the address you would like the book shipped to when you make the purchase online. If you have any questions or would like to participate in helping raise funds for Arkansas Children's Hospital, please contact Jaimi at

Please help me spread the word on this awesome fundraiser! Tweet, facebook and blog about it!

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