Jocelyn Andersen doesn’t remember her time in the NICU at Golisano Children’s Hospital but her dad remembers it like it was yesterday.
Jocelyn, 4, who was born via emergency c-section at 23 weeks, was the first newborn to be admitted into the NICU wing. It was a rough start, to say the least.
“She was born with a collapsed lung and then shortly after that she had a perforated bowel and had to have a Penrose drain and also retinopathy prematurely with her eyes. She had to have surgery. She overcame a lot,” said Jocelyn’s dad Scott Andersen.
Jocelyn spent 140 days in the NICU. It was more than a month before her dad could even hold her.
“She was 1 lb. 13 ounces,” Andersen said. “She was very delicate, so only the trained staff could hold her, and I could see why.”
Jocelyn has come a long way and Andersen said they have Golisano to thank. Golisano is now celebrating a milestone of its own: Its fifth birthday officially on May 10. The hospital was a $200 million project and half came from private donations.
“This place is truly a gem,” Andersen said.
Before it was Golisano, the children’s hospital was a hospital within a hospital.
It was inside HealthPark Medical Center next door.
Former patient Crew Satkoski was treated at the old hospital and stood alongside Tom Golisano as he cut the ribbon on the new one. Crew’s own birthday is on Friday. He turns 11.
A state-of-the-art facility, but as his mom will say, it’s not about the building but about the people inside.
“You really do feel like you’re part of the family here,” said Courtney Satkoski. “It makes a difference. It makes a difference on any day, but especially when you’re having a really scary day, when your child’s life is on the line, how you feel welcomed to a facility. People who brought in toys for him or blankets, the staff that stayed late, the physicians who checked in on their days off, things that you just appreciate.”
Now, they show their appreciation and gratitude by giving back, using Crew’s favorite sport of gold to collect toys for the young patients.
Crew’s advice for children now at the hospital is to stay positive.
“These doctors will get you through it because these doctors are great people,” Crew said.
In the last five years, Golisano has had many triumphs.
Kids have beat cancer. New advanced treatments keep Golisano on the cutting edge of care and new innovations make young patients more comfortable. And families don’t have to go to Tampa or Miami because we have it all in Southwest Florida.