Fundraiser to help East TN Children's Hospital treat babies born

Fundraiser to help East TN Children's Hospital treat babies born into addiction

Posted:
All funds raised at Saturday's event are going towards purchasing 30 automatic Mamaroo swings for Children's. All funds raised at Saturday's event are going towards purchasing 30 automatic Mamaroo swings for Children's.
The money they raise goes to East Tennessee Children's Hospital, which treats up to 30 or more NAS babies at a time. The money they raise goes to East Tennessee Children's Hospital, which treats up to 30 or more NAS babies at a time.
Members of local military attended the fundraiser in support. Members of local military attended the fundraiser in support.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Thousands of babies across the country are born each and every year addicted to the drugs their mothers used during pregnancy.

Here at home, East Tennessee Children's Hospital treats a high number of those babies, comforting them as they suffer through withdrawal.

But the number of babies born locally addicted to drugs is so high, the hospital needs help providing them with the care they need.

A local organization hosted a fundraiser Saturday to help them in their efforts.

Dozens of families turned out to the fundraiser, hosted by Rockabye Butterfly.

The organization works to help children born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, or NAS.

The money they raise goes to East Tennessee Children's Hospital, which treats up to 30 or more NAS babies at a time.

For some, the withdrawal is so severe, they have to stay in the NICU for months.

"They have seizures, they shake. They constantly have this high pitched cry. You can tell they're suffering," said Angelina Hall, president of Rockabye Butterfly.

As a result, the babies need constant attention.

They need to be cuddled and consoled 24 hours a day.

"It rips at your heart to watch what's happening to these babies," said Hall, who also volunteers as an NAS baby cuddler at Children's.

But even with nurses and volunteer cuddlers, with so many NAS babies, that can be hard to do.

"I've walked through the NICU and seen babies just crying with no one to hold them, and it breaks my heart, you want to hold them," said Danni Lambert, a volunteer with Rockabye Butterfly.

All funds raised at Saturday's event are going towards purchasing 30 automatic Mamaroo swings for Children's.

"These swings are specially designed to rock the babies and soothe them while they're going through withdrawal. If anyone deserves to be cuddled and loved 24/7, it's these babies because they didn't put themselves in this situation," said Hall.

9-year-old Tamara Wilson, a former NAS baby, spoke at the event alongside her adoptive parents.

She says anything people can do to soothe these innocent children makes all the difference.

"To help these babies live so they don't have to be drug addicted," said Wilson. "Help them spread their wings and fly."

All the money they raise Saturday is going to be matched by the company they are purchasing the swings from, to ensure they have enough money to purchase all the swings needed by Children's Hospital.

For more information about Rockabye Butterfly, visit their website.

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