This was an article written by Mizzou Weekly in 1987. At the time my family still lived in Columbia, Missouri due to my short bowel syndrome care.  I was chosen as the promotional child of the year for the telethon.

Telethon helps miracle baby

May 15, 1986: Columbia, Missouri-Mizzou Weekly

AndyandFamilyMizzou staff member Leo Jablonski and his wife Barb, never paid much attention to the University Hospital and Clinics Children’s Miracle Network Telethon, But that was before their son Andy was born.

Today their 9 1/2 month-old son quizzical face graces the May 30-31 telethon’s promotional posters. His smile belies his shaky start at life.  Leo a health physicist with Mizzou Health Physics Services, and Barb remember their sons birth as a blur of activity. An emergency Caesarean section was preformed when a fetal monitor revealed that Andy’s heart stopped with each contraction. He would of never survived a normal childbirth.

But even with the emergency operation, it took fifteen minutes of resuscitation before Andy was breathing. Then the specialists in the hospital’s newborn critical care unit discovered half of his blood supply was missing.  Transfusions were started and Dr. Mary Alice Helikson, a pediatric surgeon was called in for consultation. Exploratory surgery revealed that Andy’s intestines were knotted, cutting off his blood supply. To correct the abnormal turns surgery was preformed, leaving Andy with only four inches of the thirty-six inches he should have had.

Today he is fed through tubes into his stomach and chest. The constant flow of nutrients is necessary to stimulate growth of the intestinal lining. By the time Andy is two, his doctors hope he’ll be able to get all of his nutrition by mouth.  “Were just lucky other people paid attention to the telethon, and that they donated as much as they did, because Andy directly benefited from last years telethon,” Leo says. Andy spent the first four months of his life in the pediatric intensive care unit, which was updated with the funds from the 1986 Children’s Miracle Network Telethon.

This is the third year the University Hospital has been involved in the national telethon. In 1985 pledges raised $83,000. Last year the event raised $107,000. Units at the hospital pitch in to raise money too. This year a bake sale and a 12-mile run were among the fundraising activities dreamed up by hospital staff. All of the money raised goes to children’s services at the University Hospital. “Even if you go to another hospital to have your baby, if there are complications, they may have to bring them to the NICU at the University Hospital” Leo says. “You never think anything bad will happen to your baby. But you never know when your child may need help.”

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