Desert Regional Medical Center is home to the Coachella Valley’s only neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and this year marks the 25th anniversary of this vital community resource.
In celebration of that milestone anniversary, the physicians and staff in the NICU sponsored a gala to raise funds for Hanson House, which provides housing to families of the critically ill and injured, including parents with infants in the NICU.
The “All About the Family” gala was held Sept. 12 at the Agua Caliente Hotel and Casino in Rancho Mirage. Tickets included dinner, an opportunity to participate in a silent and live auction, and live entertainment by the band “New Sensations.”
Proceeds will go to helping patients like Polyanna Lewis of Kingston, Jamaica, who is now one of the more than 1,200 guests to receive comfort and care at the Hanson House.
“They make my stay like a home away from home,” Lewis said.
Lewis was visiting a relative who was on a traveling work assignment in Palm Springs when she went into labor prematurely at 26 weeks. She was rushed to Desert Regional Medical Center. Her son, Preston, was born on June 24, weighing just two pounds.
When Lewis’ relative had to leave Palm Springs in late July, the single mom was left with nobody in the area, and she turned to Hanson House.
Her son has now doubled in weight and may be able to leave the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) soon. “I go to the NICU every day and the nurses are wonderful,” Lewis said.
Photography by Gregg Felsen