We have a world-class facility and people right here in Kalamazoo
Today, twin brothers Jackson and Nicholas VanDam are healthy, thriving college students. Twenty years ago, however, the boys’ parents, Kevin and Sherry VanDam, were uncertain as to what the future would hold. Born more than 15 weeks early, Jackson and Nicholas were tiny patients in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Bronson Children’s Hospital.
Both boys faced numerous health challenges. They underwent heart surgery, which resulted in life-threatening complications for Jackson. For their dad, Jackson and Nicholas’ early arrival was uniquely difficult. As a professional champion bass fisherman, Kevin’s work brought him to tournaments across the country. He would call the NICU frequently for updates. “The nurses, doctors and staff are really special people. They were so calm and reassuring,” says Kevin. “They know they are not only treating the babies, they are treating the families, too,” adds Sherry.
After 91 days in the NICU, Sherry and Kevin were finally able to bring Jackson and Nicholas home. The VanDams have never forgotten that experience. Over the years they have helped fund several projects for the NICU, including the NicView web camera system, and most recently new vein visualization technology. The ultrasound system helps staff more easily locate veins on the tiniest of babies to allow for accurate IV placement. The VanDams say as their boys grow older, their gratitude for Bronson also grows, which is why they continue to give to the Bronson Health Foundation Children’s Hospital Fund.
“We have a world-class facility and people right here in Kalamazoo. It is such a positive environment and we understand that doesn’t happen by accident,” says Kevin. “We are so appreciative of the time and care Bronson gave to our two miracles.”
To support programs and services at Bronson Children’s Hospital, visit the Bronson Health Foundation webpage at bronsonfoundation.com.