MONTGOMERY, Ala. (September 5, 2017) — Getting some children ready for a new school year goes well beyond stocking up on pencils and paper. For students who need special help with mealtimes, access to feeding tubes and supplies is a must that makes all the difference to their day. This year, the Montgomery Child Nutrition feeding program experienced a budget cut that could have seriously impacted their students until they got a helping hand from a local church and medical supply business.
Debbie Owens, a customer service representative for Turenne PharMedCo, a pharmacy services and medical supply provider, has come to expect a call from Montgomery Child Nutrition every year to replenish supplies before school starts. But, this year’s call brought terrible news from head nurse, Rosemary Hudson, RN. Although the state and federal governments pay for syringes and the cans of liquid food used by the program’s students, Hudson said there would be no funding to buy needed medical supplies for the year.
“These are children that have to be [tube] fed every day, suctioned, and if they have an asthma attack she has to be the one to give them their treatments,” Owens said of Hudson and her team of school nurses.
Although the feeding tube syringes would be paid for by the state, the program needed basics such as feeding tube cups, nebulizer masks, sterile gauze, bandages, and suction supplies. Hudson had only enough to purchase syringes and she didn’t know how she was going to get the rest of the supplies for the students she refers to as “her babies.”
Owens was touched by the story and wanted to make sure that no child in the program missed on having needed medical supplies.
With the help of her church, Burkeville Memorial United Methodist Church in Montgomery, and Turenne, Owens put a plan into action. A church fund provided her with $60 to buy one year’s worth of needed supplies that she was able to get through a program at Turenne. As a finishing touch for the donation, Owens had a delivery driver attach a note to Hudson on the box of supplies that read: “This is for you and your babies.”
“Sometimes God puts us in places where we needed to be and to hear things,” Owens said. “Our mission is to take care of these children because they are a part of our world.”
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