Date: 2/1/2012

Tiny Miracle leads to Greater Good

With a $2,500 contribution from the Nathan C. Splant Foundation, hospital staff has been able to spread the message of safer sleeping practices and provide HALO sleeper sacks for babies born in the NICU. On hand for the check presentation are (seated, left to right) Phillip, Nathan and Kim Splant, and (standing, left to right) Michelle Cherry, nursery manager and Mary Puntillo, nurse educator.

Nurse educators at Community Hospital in Munster are raising greater community awareness of Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUIDs), because of caring parents Kim and Phillip Splant, and a contribution from the Nathan C. Splant Foundation. A $2,500 donation from the Splant Foundation will help spread the message of safe sleep practices and provide HALO® SleepSacks™ for babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of Community Hospital where the Splant’s son, Nathan, was born prematurely, weighing only 1 lb., 9 oz.

“We’re taking this opportunity to give back,” said Dad Phillip Splant. “We hope that others will benefit from our story — our miracle.”

Hospital nurses first sprang into action after discovering a sobering statistic: that in 2009, Lake County had recorded the highest number of Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUIDs) compared to the rest of the counties in the state of Indiana.

SUIDs, for the most part, are preventable and are a result of unsafe sleep practices, according to First Candle, one of the nation’s leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to the survival of babies through the first years of life. First Candle recommends a wearable blanket, called a HALO® SleepSack™ to help reduce risk factors associated with SUIDs and replace loose blankets in a crib.

Neonatal nurse clinician Mary Puntillo has been helping to spread the message of “baby ‘Back’ to Sleep; By Myself; in a Naked Crib” in the hospital’s nurseries and in classes offered to the public.

“Safe sleep practices are taught from the get go,” Puntillo said. “And we’re teaching it in our communities with Taking Care of Baby and Grandparent classes,” she said.

Today, Nathan is a healthy, happy eight-year old. “Our family couldn’t have done it without the dedication and compassion of all those involved with Nathan’s recovery — the doctors, nurses, therapists and special program aides,” Mom Kim Splant said.

In appreciation, the Splant family still returns to Community Hospital to make special deliveries on behalf of the Nathan C. Splant Foundation, the organization the family founded to honor their son and give back to others.

For more information on the Nathan C. Splant Foundation, visit

To register for upcoming Taking Care of Baby or Today’s New Grandparent classes offered through the hospitals of Community Healthcare System, call 219-836-3477 or toll-free 866-836-3477 or click here.