Doctors put together care packages for new mothers amid COVID crisis
Doctors are not only saving lives but helping families under financial stress during the coronavirus pandemic.
"The idea to have a sick mother with a baby and just trying to negotiate that is hard,” said Dr. Suzette Oyeku.
Dr. Oyeku works at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore and has seen first hand how the pandemic is hitting families hard. "I think for us, it's also normalizing and for our team to be aware and ask people if they need help,” said Dr. Oyeku.
What they found they say was heartbreaking, and mothers are navigating a scary reality.
"Many of these mothers are ill with COVID. They are recovering from giving birth, and they are finding it difficult to breastfeed, and that is feedback that many pediatricians have been receiving, and so we wanted to address this very vulnerable group of mothers,” said Director of Pediatric Behavioral Health Services Dr. Miguelina German.
They applied for an emergency grant from the Tiger Foundation with a $200,000 grant on the way to provide mothers with what they need. However, they say they had to do something now, so they took matters into their own hands.
With money from their own pockets, they took a trip to Costco to create dozens of care packages for their patients. Those packages went directly to mothers and their babies.
They're even starting an Amazon wish list where people can buy essential items for mothers in need. Dr. Oyeku shares that after recovering from COVID-19, she just wanted to work 10 times harder to help others.
"There was a need and this is a practical solution, and I thank God that I'm alive to be able to do it,” said Dr. Oyeku.