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Family donates over 700 blankets to Phoebe NICU

Video from WALB
Published: Mar. 8, 2022 at 10:30 AM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - A woman is giving back to Phoebe’s NICU after helping her get through what she calls the most difficult time of her life.

Donating just over 700 blankets to help the tiniest, most vulnerable patients in the hospital. Summer Cromer, who coordinated the donations, said she didn’t do it all alone though, adding family, friends and strangers donated to give what meant so much to her in a time of uncertainty.

Cromer said she hopes these blankets will remind families everything is going to be okay.

“We had so many people helping us out that I wanted to help out whenever we could,” said Cromer.

Summer Cromer and Maddox, her son. Cromer organized to get the blankets donated to the Phoebe...
Summer Cromer and Maddox, her son. Cromer organized to get the blankets donated to the Phoebe NICU. (WALB)

Raising exactly 778 blankets to donate, Cromer said this is something she planned on doing as soon as she left the NICU. It was the events leading up to her child’s birth she said she couldn’t plan for.

“Me and Maddox’s dad had been dating for 15 years, and we finally got pregnant in November. April 10, our world just kind of stopped. His dad passed away suddenly. We had no clue it was going to happen,” said Cromer.

One month after his death, her water broke at only 28 weeks.

Baby Maddox came 10 weeks early, weighing 3 pounds, 10 ounces.

Cromer said she couldn’t help but think why.

“Why was everything happening at one time? Why were we having to deal with not only the death of his dad but him coming early the unknowns of what was going to happen with him,” said Cromer.

She said the NICU team helped support her, so she wanted to find a way to support them.

″They were there to reassure me that everything was going to be okay. That he was going to be okay,” said Cromer.

Jennifer Hill is the nurse manager of the NICU at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.
Jennifer Hill is the nurse manager of the NICU at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. (WALB)

NICU Nurse Manager Jennifer Hill said it’s these acts of kindness that help them remember what they’re doing is more than just a job.

“Sometimes, you just think that you’re doing your job and you don’t really realize the huge impact you have, not only in the lives of the babies but as well as these families. So when they come back and give these donations, it just meant the world to us,” said Hill.

Nine months later, baby Maddox is a healthy baby weighing 18 pounds. Although times are tough, it’s him that gets his mom through the day.

“He is my reason for living. He gets me through every day. He got me through between his dad and him coming. He makes the worst day turn into the best day,” said Cromer.

These blankets will help around 1,000 future NICU patients.

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