“We didn’t anticipate the heart failure,” shares Anacortes resident, Josh Maltsberger, as he remembers the summer night his baby’s life was in jeopardy. “No one in the ER appeared overwhelmed by the situation.”

At just two weeks old, Baby Joanna began to show signs of distressed breathing. As her lips turned from rosy-pink to blue, parents, Josh and Tina, rushed her to the Emergency Department (ER) at Island Hospital.

After intubating Baby Joanna, the ER medical team discovered fluid in Joanna’s lungs and several organs showing signs of failure.

“It was kind of intense and kind of a blur,” Tina recalls of those first moments in the ER.

The medical team stabilized Baby Joanna and determined she needed to be air-lifted to Seattle Children’s Hospital for specialized care.

Baby Joanna had contracted the Enterovirus which attacked her heart and lungs causing other organs to go into failure. “Children’s [Hospital] was impressed by the level of care Joanna received at Island Hospital,” shares Tina. “[Children’s] did not have to re-intubate Joanna which they said often happens when babies come from small hospitals perform intubations only occasionally.”

The Island Hospital Emergency Department is a Level 3 Trauma Center. “Thank goodness we are here,” says Director, Kelly Pearson, BSN, RN. “Not every community has an Emergency Department. We have services people need.”

Island Hospital Foundation’s 2019 Gala of Hope will dedicate funds raised through the Heartstrings Appeal to purchasing several, new telemetry machines for the ER. New telemetry equipment will not only provide better analysis and quicker results but will include features the old machines do not have, such as the ability to perform EKGs from all rooms and independent patient monitoring from multiple locations. Supporting this effort will increase the reliability of a system on which the ER medical team depends to provide high-quality care in a department where every second counts.

You can be the miracle that saves someone’s life. By attending the 16th Annual Gala of Hope, The Color of Miracles, on Saturday, April 27th, you can create miracles of all sizes. In addition to supporting the ER, proceeds from the Gala will sustain funding for patient relief grants, the Mental Health Intervention program, the Health Resource Center, preventative health screenings, new Palliative Care and Diabetes Education programs, and more. During this one-of-a-kind experience, guests are invited to dress in the color of their miracle as they dine with friends, bid on auction items, and raise their paddle to support Island Hospital’s Emergency Department.

“I am just so impressed by people who went above and beyond their call of duty to jump in and help out,” says Josh of the ER medical team on duty that summer night.

Tickets for the Gala of Hope are $150 each. Sponsorships range from $1,600 – $10,000. Tickets and sponsorships are available from the Foundation office and online at www.myihf.org.

Save the date, purchase your tickets, or become an event sponsor and make miracles happen.