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Donation helps SUID program

Pictured are (seated from left) Phillip Nathan Kim Splant (standing) Michelle Cherry nursery manager Mary Puntillo nurse educator Community Hospital

Pictured are (seated, from left) Phillip, Nathan and Kim Splant, and (standing) Michelle Cherry, nursery manager, and Mary Puntillo, nurse educator, at Community Hospital in Munster, Ind. | Photo provided

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Updated: February 7, 2012 2:23PM



Nurse educators at Community Hospital in Munster are raising awareness of Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths as the result of a donation from the Nathan C. Splant Foundation.

The $2,500 donation will help the educators teach safe sleep practices and provide HALO SleepSacks for babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of Community Hospital, where St. John residents Kim and Phillip Splant’s son, Nathan, was born prematurely, weighing only 1 lb., 9 oz.

Today, Nathan is a healthy 8-year old.

“We’re taking this opportunity to give back,” Phillip said. “We hope others will benefit from our story — our miracle.”

Nurses took special interest in the issue after learning that, in 2009, Lake County had the highest number of SUIDs of any county in Indiana. SUIDs often are the result of unsafe sleep practices, according to First Candle, a not-for-profit group dedicated to the survival of babies through the first years of life. The HALO SleepSack is a wearable blanket that helps reduce SUIDs risk factors, according to First Candle.

Neonatal nurse clinician Mary Puntillo has been active in teaching safe sleep practices in the hospital’s nurseries and in classes offered to the public.

“Safe sleep practices are taught from the get-go,” Puntillo said. “And we’re teaching it in our communities with ‘Taking Care of Baby’ and grandparent classes.”

For more information on the Splant Foundation, visit ncsplantfoundation.org.

To register for upcoming “Taking Care of Baby” or “Today’s New Grandparent” classes offered through the hospitals of Community Healthcare System, call 836-3477 or toll-free (866) 836-3477 or visit www.comhs.org/community/classes.asp.

“Our family couldn’t have done it without the dedication and compassion of all those involved with Nathan’s recovery — the doctors, nurses, therapists and special program aides,” Kim said.



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