Kathryn and Casey Rider went through a rough 55 days in Newton Medical Center’s neonatal intensive care unit after their daughter, Ella, was born at 28 weeks. March of Dimes helps raise money locally for babies too sick or born too soon. A fund-raising walk will be in Olde Town Conyers in May but the hospital is kicking off the event on Thursday at the Mystic Grill. (Special photo)
COVINGTON — Newton Medical Center is reaching out to the community to march in support of babies born too sick or too soon.
Ella Kate Rider was born at 28 weeks and only five days gestation in Newton Medical Center’s BirthCare Center. Her parents, Kathryn and Casey Rider, spent 55 days watching as Ella was being cared for in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The family finally went home in November.
“Our ideal birth plan consisted of a full term healthy baby, hearing a good strong cry once she was born, visitors coming and going so we could show our new baby off, going home as a family, along with many other things that are to be expected with a birth,” Kathryn Rider said. “Our plans changed drastically when I went into labor at 26 weeks. They were able to stop my contractions, I received steroid shots and then was sent home on bed rest. Two weeks later, I got an infection and I had to deliver.”
On average, 10 percent of all newborns after birth need extra support. The NICU at Newton Medical Center is equipped with trained neonatologists, physician assistants, registered nurses, advanced practice nurses and respiratory therapists provide the comprehensive care that high-risk newborns need in a specialized environment.
To support families in these situations, Newton Medical will participate in the March for Babies event sponsored by the March of Dimes. The organization raises money locally to help babies who are born sick or early. The money raised by March for Babies events supports research, education and community-based programs that help moms have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies. March of Dimes grantees conduct research to find answers to the problems that threaten the health of babies.
To kick off the local March for Babies event held in May, Newton Medical is hosting an event at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at the Mystic Grill, located at 1301 Clark St.
Lunch will begin at noon and Kathryn Rider will speak on her daughter’s journey while Newton Medical Center’s NICU Clinical Coordinator Robin Sloman will speak about the time she spent caring for Ella. To attend, contact Ashley Young-Roesler at Ayoung-Roesler@marchofdimes.com.
Anyone interested in creating a team for the Rockdale/Newton/Walton March for Babies can go to marchforbabies.org to sign up. The local walk will be held Saturday, May 10 in Conyers at the Olde Town Pavilion. Registration starts at 8 a.m. and the walk starts at 9 a.m.