DES MOINES, Iowa (CBS Local) — A hospital employee who reads to the children during their most vulnerable moments is seeking donations of children’s books.
On any given day, you’ll hear the calming voice of Dane Pratt from inside the pediatric unit at MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center in Iowa.
“They can still hear and sometimes it helps to let them know they’re not alone, that someone is there for them,” Pratt told CBS affiliate KCCI.
Pratt is a cardiovascular perfusionist, which means he runs the ECMO machine for patients like Parker Baker, a 13-month-old from Indianola.
Parker is on life support after contracting two viruses similar to RSV. This is especially dangerous for Parker. Born at 23 weeks, her lungs were already weak.
— KCCI News (@KCCINews) January 8, 2020
“I had a really scary time when we thought we weren’t going to see another day with Parker and he came to her bedside to read with her,” said Parker’s mother, Cassie Baker. “It just completely melted our hearts.”
Pratt checks books out of the library himself. But he’d love your help with donations so he can keep on reading to let tiny patients like Parker know they’re not alone.
“It means the world to me,” he said. “Going the extra mile doesn’t mean you actually have to walk the mile.”
If you’d like to donate new or gently used children’s books, please send them to:
MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center
1111 6th Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50314
In addition, a GoFundMe page has been set up to support Parker and her family.