Tammie and Zoey Krebsbach

Tammie Krebsbach holds her daughter Zoey for the first time, in the Mercy San Juan NICU.

Touched by the kindness of caregivers:  One grateful family gives back to Mercy San Juan NICU

Baby Zoey came into this world far too soon and far too fragile. Born at just 26 weeks and weighing a scant 2 pounds, she was also an answer to the prayers of a family thousands of miles away. “I really believe that God brought this tiny premature baby to me so that I could care for her,” says Minnesota resident Tammie Krebsbach.

Tammie and her husband, Tom, had been trying for years to have a baby, enduring nine miscarriages. When they got the call in February that a tiny baby girl in need of a family had been born at Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael, they did not hesitate. They jumped on a plane and flew across the country.

Tammie was not prepared for what awaited her. “I was shocked—she was just so small. But she was doing really, really well.” In fact, other than an anemia scare that required a blood transfusion, Baby Zoey encountered few of the complications that can plague babies born so early. Nonetheless, it would be three and a half months before Zoey and the Krebsbachs would be able to fly home to Minnesota.

During those long months, Tammie spent 12 or more hours a day at the Mercy San Juan Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). “The nurses, the therapists, the doctors—they really became a part of our family. If I ever had to [have a baby in the NICU] again, I would absolutely choose to be at Mercy San Juan.”

The Krebsbachs quickly decided to make a charitable donation in support of the NICU. “We knew we wanted to make a difference for the doctors and the nurses who helped us, and for all the families served by the NICU.”

Through Mercy Foundation, the Krebsbachs designated their $10,000 gift to the Mercy San Juan NICU.  Zoey’s Grandma Krebsbach, touched by the extra effort the nursing staff showed in caring for her granddaughter, matched that gift with an additional $10,000. Their generosity will impact many families in the future by providing items such as rocking chairs, a new baby scale, additional “bili blankets” to treat infants with jaundice, and gift cards to help other families with babies facing lengthy hospitalizations.

Today Zoey is a healthy and thriving toddler, at home with her family in Minnesota. For her mother, the memory of caregivers thousands of miles away still brings tears to her eyes. “The kindness of each and every person in the Mercy San Juan NICU still amazes me.”

Are you a grateful patient?

Gratitude is a powerful expression of the heart. The Grateful Patients & Families Program offers a way to express appreciation and help Mercy Foundation continue to serve the community’s needs. Contact Us to learn more about the program.