Originally created 06/05/99

Telethon will benefit children's hospitals



Bridget Davenport of Belvedere knew the signs of strep throat, and knew that was what she and her daughters had come down with. But she became more concerned when 8-year-old Evin Rae started having trouble breathing.

She rushed the girl to Aiken Regional Medical Centers, where doctors put her on a ventilator for respiratory failure and called the Medical College of Georgia Pediatric Transport Team.

For nearly a month, Evin lay unconscious in the pediatric intensive care unit at MCG's Children's Medical Center while medications helped her organs recover from toxic shock syndrome -- a rare disease that had been caused by the strep throat organisms.

After a six-week hospital stay, Evin was able to return to Belvedere Elementary School and pick up with her class, thanks to the lessons provided at the Children's Medical Center schoolroom. Today she has made a complete recovery.

Children like Evin are the beneficiaries of the Children's Miracle Network Weekend of Champions, a national, 21-hour telethon broadcast from Walt Disney World, that raises money for children's hospitals. The telethon, which will be broadcast from 9 p.m. Saturday to 6 p.m. Sunday, on WRDW-TV (Channel 12), has raised millions of dollars and helped countless children in its 16-year history.

Medical College of Georgia joined the Children's Miracle Network in 1986 and has raised more than $5.5 million in that time to benefit the Children's Medical Center, which opened last year.

"Now more than ever, we need the community's support," said Children's Miracle Network coordinator Cheryl Beck. "The opening of the new Children's Medical Center was always a goal, but now there are ongoing needs inside the hospital to support."

All money raised in the 18-county Georgia and South Carolina area benefits the MCG Children's Medical Center.

The program will include local segments with vignettes about several Children's Medical Center patients.

Emily Sollie can be reached at (706) 823-3340 or esollie@augustachronicle.com.

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