The Morton High School boys’ basketball team and Coach Matt Franks are hosting the 8th annual Gameball Run event to raise money and awareness for Children's Hospital of Illinois (CHOI). Each school in District 709 has selected a Miracle Family to represent the services provided by Children's Hospital and the impact it has on Morton families. To financially support Gameball Run, donate online at www.MortonGameballRun.org. Each school is hosting events, with all proceeds going to Children's Hospital of Illinois.
The Miracle Family representing Ward Grundy Elementary school is the Lundy family – Will, Annabelle, Zack, David, and Molly Lundy. This is their story.
When Molly Lundy was pregnant with her first child, she was in her second year of pediatric residency at OSF. Molly was 27 weeks pregnant with Annabelle, who was due March 5th.
After a long work week on her feet, Molly was a little surprised that her ankles swelled to the point that she could not get pants over them, so, she called her doctor. He sent her to the hospital for some lab work. Molly added, “I thought no way. I had just finally left the hospital after working there all week.”
On top of that, David and Molly were dressed up with their cooler packed for a Christmas party they did not want to miss. Driving to the party, they passed a sign that pointed towards CHOI. Molly added, “I had a twinge of guilt, or dread, and told David that we better just stop and get those labs done before we head to the party.” Little did the Lundy’s know it would be nine weeks before they would walk back out of the hospital.
Molly remembers how the pregnancy began to take a downhill spiral, “I was 27 weeks pregnant, suddenly very sick with preeclampsia. My doctor told me, “Best case scenario you will deliver in two weeks, worst case tonight, but most likely in two days.”
Molly gave birth two days later. Annabelle was born a day and a half after Molly and David made that split decision to turn off the highway towards the children’s hospital, weighing two pounds and three ounces.
From there, Annabelle lived her first nine weeks at CHOI with a few setbacks. She was intubated the night she was born because she stopped breathing on her own. Only a few days later, she was transitioned to a mask to help her breathe. Annabelle also dropped to her lowest weight of one pound thirteen ounces, and from her knee to her foot was the size of her Daddy’s finger. She also had a hole in her heart that closed with medication.
“No doubt, we were still scared,” said Molly. “But I kept thinking, if anything goes wrong, they have the team for that. They have everything here! We could not be in a better place.”
While taking care of Annabelle, Molly recalls how the CHOI staff gave their family special moments too, “Santa came to visit Annabelle at two weeks old, and they surprised us and put her in her first dress with a bow in her hair.” In addition, the staff placed a small gift in their room almost every day and the family was given a direct number to call their daughter’s room and get updates at any time.
“The most wonderful nurse took David’s wedding ring and slid it all the way up Annabelle’s arm like a big bracelet,” said Molly. “The picture we have of this moment will forever be our favorite as it so vividly captures the tiny and delicate baby she was.”
Since Annabelle’s journey at CHOI, Molly describes how the Lundy family has come into contact with so many of the CHOI staff in the community, “One of the APNs that helped Annabelle breathe right at birth is a fellow Grundy mom. A nurse from the NICU that took care of Annabelle is now our neighbor across the street. My mentor in residency is now Annabelle’s pediatrician. I would never be writing this success story if it were not for our local heroes at CHOI. But they are not the only ones...”
“Since long before Annabelle was born, our community was supporting our hospital and helping make CHOI the incredible place that it is,” said Molly.
“And as a parent, I have seen how an event such as Gameball Run makes such a difference for these babies and their families. What an incredible way to show how much we appreciate the time, the expertise, the comfort, and confidence of knowing if anything happens to our children, at any moment, we have teams and teams of caregivers ready and waiting for us.”
“I am so proud of Morton Basketball and their annual Gameball Run. We are honored to have Annabelle represent and help support their effort to give more families at CHOI their happy ending. “