Thursday, June 19, 2008

Amazing Opportunities!

The Lord continues to bless Footprints with so many amazing opportunities!

Yesterday I got a call that we were selected to participate in LWT Communications-CREATATHON. Every year LWT selects non-profit organizations and they devote a full 24 hours on September 11th for FREE creative services to each organization. We are so excited about this opportunity! To see more info. you can visit here LWT Communications

We had an article in the Montgomery Baptist Association newsletter. Please click here to read the article A big thank you to Lisa Rose for writing a great article!

We also had an article in the Alabama Baptist newspaper last week. Below is the story that was written. Jeremy Henderson did an amazing job!

"Lord, you will grant us peace; all we have accomplished is really from you." Isaiah 26:12

Montgomery Mother Leaves ‘Footprints’ in NICU
By Jeremy Henderson

Many babies admitted into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Baptist South hospital in Montgomery – those born unexpectedly early, some even before their own baby showers – receive their first gifts from Dana Gallahair.

“Yes, I’m the bag lady,” Gallahair said, laughing.
Gallahair will knock on the door of an anxious mother’s room and she’ll hoist the gift bag (they keep getting nicer and heavier). She’ll smile, and the mom’s will smile back, and Gallahair, a registered nurse and care coordinator for the neonatal and newborn nursery, will get on with her job. The baskets make it easier, help her with introductions, but they’re not hospital issue.
They’re delivered to Gallahair whenever the need arises by her friend and former patient Kim Wilson, founder of The Footprints Ministry. Wilson, a member of Montgomery’s Heritage Baptist Church, started the ministry at Heritage in August of last year to uplift and encourage the parents of the 800 babies per year who are admitted to the NICU’s of Baptist South and Baptist East hospitals, like Wilson’s son John Parker was, the long night of Sept. 30th, 2006.
Wilson can remember everything about her personal experience with the NICU at Baptist South – all the smells, all the sights, all the scary medical terms and all the crying, from both the babies and the parents. And there, behind a glass partition, lying in an incubator was John Parker. He’d been rushed to the NICU from Jackson Hospital for emergency surgery after his lung collapsed the day after he was born by planned C-section. Even if she’d been able to be by his side, she couldn’t have kissed him because of the tube down his mouth, couldn’t have held him for the IVs in his tiny arms. Monitors and wires were everywhere. She couldn’t be with her son. She couldn’t help him.

It was, said Wilson, “indescribably overwhelming.”
John Parker was released ten days later (he is now, his mother says, a typical almost-two-year-old). That’s 240 hours, that’s 14,400 minutes. They were the longest 10 days of Kim Wilson’s life. She and husband Glenn credit the prayers of friends, family and their church, including Pastor David Grumbach, and the compassion of nurses such as Gallahair, with whom she would soon partner, with helping them see those days through.
“We wanted to stay up there every second of every day,” Wilson later wrote in the blog serving as the ministry’s website ( “I can remember those long drives [to the hospital]. Would today be the day I could hold my baby for the first time? Would he be better today? Would today be the day they would tell us we could take him home? It was such an emotional roller coaster,” a roller coaster that, through Footprints, she is determined to make less scary for others.

“[Footprints] helps cushion what many parents would describe as a nightmare,” said Gallahair, a member of Wadsworth Baptist Church, Autauga Association, where her husband Bill serves as pastor. “It can be a little bit of silver lining in what might seem like a really dark cloud.”
That silver lining comes with the gift bags – over 400 distributed to date – and with the hospital-to-home empathy of experience.

The bags are filled with the things you’d expect – baby magazines and burp cloths and gift cards to local stores and restaurants, but also things you wouldn’t, things obvious only to those who have been through it themselves, like travel necessities.
“[Travel necessities] are very important as most babies are premature and the families are not prepared [for an overnight stay] when the baby arrives,” Wilson said.
But it’s the scent blankets with the poems attached that a new mother can sleep with and then place with the baby, and the prayer request cards they can fill out and send to churches that people really seem to appreciate.

For Beth Barranco, it was the disposable cameras that came in the bag, which she gave to the nurses to capture her daughter Peyton’s first bath. Peyton came 7 weeks early and weighed less than 3lbs when she was born. Barranco couldn’t give her the bath or even be there to watch, but thanks to The Footprints Ministry, she feels like she was there.
"[Footprints] was just really great, they gave us a gift basket when we had her and Kim came and prayed with us all the time, it was so uplifting,” said Barranco, also a member of Heritage Baptist. Peyton stayed in the NICU at Baptist East for six weeks. She has been home for a month. Wilson and Co. were there to welcome her with balloons, signs and footprints cut out of poster board leading to the front door.
“Kim still continues to pray with us, I talk to her all the time, it really is a great ministry.”
And a growing one – Footprints is on the verge of securing 501(c)(3) non-profit status with the IRS and will possibly be expanding into Atlanta and even Orlando.
“I would love to be able to expand to Birmingham and Huntsville as well. I also hope to have a Footprints house one day for families to stay in while their babies are in the NICU,” Wilson said.
“I know the Lord has great things in store for this ministry,” she said. “There is such a huge need.”


Steph said...

Our son was in the NICU over 4 years ago and from that moment on, I have dreamed of opening a house or a specialized waiting room for those families that would follow behind us. I promised the nurses I'd follow through on that "dream" as best I could. May God show us the way!