Local Ministry Brings Holiday Cheer to Hospital Ward

It's a place no parent ever wants to go, but if their child is born prematurely, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is where they'll start.

Kim Wilson knows the wing of Baptist Hospital South all too well.  Her son spent ten days in the ward, born with a collapsed lung.

"I couldn't have made it through this situation without the support of my church family," Wilson said.

Along with Glenn, her husband, Wilson started a family of her own.  The organization, called Footprints Ministry, gives gifts to parents in the NICU--a wing that sees hundreds of premature infants each year.

"It's high intensity. We're moving fast, and it's a stressful way to begin your life with your child," explained Leigha Hart, a registered nurse.

Sunday, Footprints invited Santa to visit the hospital and bring presents for each baby's first Christmas.

Wetumpka resident Thomas Martin has as a set of 3 month-old premature twins.  He thinks the gifts and attention are a welcome sight.

"It's very comforting to know that there are people out there who are concerned, not only for my children, but for everybody else's [kids]," Martin said.

In an environment that proves many times to be an emotional "roller coaster ride," parents are grateful--especially during the holiday season--that someone is there.

"It shows that there's still some compassion and caring in the world," Martin explained.

That's exactly how Kim Wilson wants the parents to feel.

"We just know--being here ourselves--[. . .] what a tough time it is for them, and I know it means a lot to them," Wilson explained.

NOTE:   If you'd like to make a donation to Footprints Ministry, you can call Heritage Baptist Church in Montgomery at (334) 279-9976.

Reporter:  Cody Holyoke