HELLAM TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa-- A local family in Central Pennsylvania is giving back to the Children's Miracle Network after they say the organization helped them through some of their toughest times.
"The day Mitch was transferred to Hershey Medical Center, the head neonatal intensive care doctor, Dr. Palmer, looked us in the eye and said 'your son is going to be lucky to make it through the night, he's in bad shape," explained Doug Pollock.
His son, Mitchell Pollock, was born at 27 weeks premature and shortly after birth developed a rare medical condition causing blood clots in his kidneys.
"Unfortunately, it's such a rare condition that by the time doctors realized what was going on, both his kidneys were dead. they were no longer functioning and filtering his blood which is critical," said Pollock.
Doug and his wife, Jennifer, see medical tragedies every day in their work as Hellam Township Police Chief and an EMT for Susquehanna Valley EMS. However, they say nothing they see compares to when it's your own child.
"We've dealt with families that are suffering tragedies as well, but it was our job. We did our job and we went home at the end of the night," said Pollock. "But, we weren't going home at the end of the night, this was our tragedy and we were going to have to deal with it."
Mitchell was put on the kidney transplant list and it was his mom who was a match. After several years on dialysis, Mitch received the transplant at 2 years old and today, his family says he is doing much better.
"He's a rambunctious child, he's thriving, he's full of life," described his mom, Jennifer Pollock. "He loves police cars, ambulances, fire trucks. He loves life."
The Pollock's say they don't know where they would be today without the help of the Children's Miracle Network, who they say supported them through some of their toughest times.
"They always took care of us when Mitch was in the hospital, they always kind of made sure we were taken care of, whether it was for food or vouchers for gas or anything," said Jennifer Pollock.
Now, they are giving back by donating a CPR training kit in honor of Mitch to Wrightsville Elementary School.
"You guys gave tons to us, it's time for us to give to you," explained Doug Pollock.
The training kits are part of a CMN initiative to educate kids at a younger age how to perform CPR and take the skills with them in life.
"There's about 360,000 cases of cardiac arrest that happen every single year outside of a hospital setting and 90% of these people don't make it so if a bystander can perform CPR, their survival rates or chances double or triple," said Katie Anderson, Children's Miracle Network.
For a family build on the duty of service, the Pollock's say the decision to get involved was an easy one.
"Service is what we do and this is obviously directly related to service so we thought it was important to immediately respond to that call and help out," said Doug.
"We want to make sure that people understand how to do CPR before we can even get there to help make that difference in someone else's life," explained Jennifer. "If we can make that difference, even if it's a couple seconds, at least we did it."
Children's Miracle Network says they met their goal of purchasing 10 CPR training kits. However, they say they will purchase more kits if the donations continue to pour in. To help, visit the Children's Miracle Network website.