Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital has announced the 2023 Children’s Miracle Network Champion, a young boy who will represent the more than 45,000 children who receive care at central and south Georgia’s only dedicated pediatric hospital.
Dodger Hodge, 1, and his parents will speak on behalf of the hospital, encourage local Children’s Miracle Network partners in their fundraising campaigns and promote awareness about the hospital’s charitable needs.
On Sept. 11, 2021, Dodger was born after a normal pregnancy. But since then, he’s undergone three surgeries and spent time in the Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, pediatric intensive care unit pediatric emergency center, and on the general pediatrics floor, while also receiving services from pediatric radiology and pediatric surgery.
“You never think this kind of thing will happen to you,” said Mary, Dodger’s mom.
Thanks to the care he received at the children’s hospital, Dodger is now a healthy, active toddler.
“We never expected to need the children’s hospital, so we are very thankful it is here in our hometown. The doctors and all the clinical staff are amazing and we cannot thank them enough for how they’ve cared for Dodger,” Mary said.
Each year, 170 CMN hospitals nationwide are invited to submit the story of a child treated in their children’s hospital. Children are nominated by hospital teammates, primarily child life specialists and patient access registrars.
Photos of Dodger, and details of his story, will be used in Children’s Miracle Network promotional materials. You can expect to see Dodger’s photo at 15 different Walmart/Sam’s Club locations across central Georgia this summer. Other campaigns include the Children’s Miracle Network Dance Marathon at Mercer University and Georgia College & State University, Robins Financial Credit Union, Publix and Dairy Queen.
“Having a child share their experience at Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital is one of the most powerful ways to teach donors about what it’s like being in the children’s hospital. Dodger’s story inspires the audience and connects donors to our mission,” said Renee Bryan, Navicent Health Foundation’s Children’s Miracle Network program coordinator.
Through support from the community and Children’s Miracle Network partners, Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital made an incredible impact on the lives of children throughout central and south Georgia. The most significant example is the expansion of the children’s hospital four years ago from 60,000 square feet to 160,000 square feet.
“Our community donated half the funds needed to build Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital and they continue to support expansion projects like the addition of four Neonatal ICU rooms, a project that will hopefully be completed this year,” Bryan said.
More than 10 million children enter children’s hospitals across North America every year. To provide the best of care for kids, children’s hospitals rely on donations and community support, as Medicaid and insurance programs do not fully cover the cost of care. CMN hospitals began in 1983 and help fill those gaps.
For more information about making a donation to benefit Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, visit NavicentHealthFoundation.org. For more information about the children’s hospital, or for help finding a doctor, visit ChildrensHospitalNH.org.