BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Thanksgiving is all about counting our blessings, but it’s also about giving blessings to others. That’s what Elizabeth Macklem is doing at Brookwood Baptist Medical Center’s NICU.
At any given time, you’ll find families in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where newborns are spending the first days of their lives. Worried, stressed out parents stay by their child’s side, relying on doctors and nurses; hoping for the best.
In July of 2014, Elizabeth Macklem and her husband Jon were here 126 days with their twin boys, who weighed just a pound and a half each. They were premature and struggling to survive, but they pulled through. Ford and Whit are now five years old, healthy and happy. The Macklems are determined to pay it forward.
This is the fifth year Elizabeth has organized a Thanksgiving dinner to be brought to all the doctors, nurses and families now in NICU. She says, "They're just in a hard place. I tell people, you really don't get it unless you've been here."
Other families who have been in NICU help bring in the food. It’s a full spread of turkey and ham, casseroles, pies and more. They know these families rarely leave the hospital, and homemade cooking goes a long way. Even more important is to have an opportunity to learn from others such as Elizabeth. She says, “They can come together and talk about what is your baby in here for, or how long are you here. They share stories. I think that’s just a great opportunity for them to forge relationships together.”
It’s also a time for graduates of NICU to thank the doctors and nurses and to count their greatest blessings of all. Elizabeth becomes emotional as she says, “We do it because we care and because we have two beautiful boys who got to come home, and we know there are families who don’t get to bring their families home.”
Elizabeth adds, "It will never be enough to do something for these amazing people here."
Remember you can nominate someone you know who is “Doing Good.” Just follow this link.