Feature articlesOctober 2016

You’ve come a long way, baby!

Leora Warshawsky (holding framed certificate) enjoys a tour of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with (from left) Dr. Apostolos Papageorgiou, her father Dr. Paul Warshawsky, mother Deborah Abecassis, younger sister Tali, older sister Elana and Dr. Ermelinda Pelausa of the Department of Pediatrics and Neonatology.

Leora Warshawsky (holding framed certificate) enjoys a tour of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with (from left) Dr. Apostolos Papageorgiou, her father Dr. Paul Warshawsky, mother Deborah Abecassis, younger sister Tali, older sister Elana and Dr. Ermelinda Pelausa of the Department of Pediatrics and Neonatology.

Leora Warshawsky, a “tiny miracle” who weighed only 1,080 grams (2 pounds, 6 ounces) when she was born prematurely at the JGH, returned to the hospital this past spring where she was officially thanked for performing a more-than-tiny miracle of her own.

Accompanied by members of her family—including her father, Dr. Paul Warshawsky, JGH Chief of Adult Critical Care—Leora was treated to a tour of the new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Pavilion K on June 28, in acknowledgement of a $4,900 donation to The Auxiliary’s Tiny Miracle Fund. A substantial portion came from gifts that Leora had received for her bat mitzvah in October 2015, supplemented by a donation from Dr. Warshawsky.

Leora Warshawsky receives her certificate of appreciation from Roz Rinzler, Chair of the Tiny Miracle Fund.

Leora Warshawsky receives her certificate of appreciation from Roz Rinzler, Chair of the Tiny Miracle Fund.

Leora, a Grade 8 student, said her father’s connection to the hospital may have inspired her in a general way, but she and her mother came up with the specific idea of helping the Neonatal Unit because of her own premature birth at the JGH in 2003.

Deborah Abecassis, Leora’s mother, explained that when guests received their bat mitzvah invitations, they found a card informing them that half of any monetary gifts would be forwarded to the Tiny Miracle Fund and, eventually, to the Neonatal Unit. Some guests sent their gifts straight to the Fund or the unit, while others sent their presents to Leora who set aside the money and made the donation.

“This was such a wonderful gesture on Leora’s part,” said Dr. Apostolos Papageorgiou, JGH Chief of Pediatrics and Neonatalogy, who gave the Warshawsky family a guided tour of his department. “Aside from how much Leora has done for our babies, the donation was an important step for her in understanding the importance of giving to others.”

Dr. Papageorgiou said donations made through the Tiny Miracle Fund are used to purchase various types of technology to ensure the comfort and well-being of premature infants.

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