While he was in the hospital, we spent most of every single day at his bedside. During that time, we were impressed by the dedication and hard work of the nurses, doctors, therapists, and other staff who cared for our son. However, as a physician (Mark) and educator (Laura) we couldn’t help but notice that the units were under-resourced in terms of educational, physical therapy, and comfort-oriented items, and that facilities for parents were limited or non-existent.
We therefore started Lukas’ Fund with donations made by friends and family in memory of our son Lukas Willem Bierema Ebell. Our mission is to to help meet the physical needs of infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and the emotional and educational needs of their parents.
Our mission is to improve outcomes and experiences of infants and their parents in the neonatal intensive care unit.
Our vision is to create a healthier environment in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) by:
- educating parents and staff about the special needs of infants in the NICU and preparing them for discharge
- providing resources for education, physical therapy, end-of-life care, and other family needs not currently funded
- creating “Lukas Rooms” in NICUs around the country that provide a place for parents to room in with children who are going home soon and a peaceful environment for end-of-life care when they cannot
- provide educational resources regarding end-of-life care to parents and caregivers
Our current focus is on the NICUs at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta and Athens Regional Medical Center in Athens, Georgia because that is where Lukas spent his life. We hope to expand our mission to address the needs of other NICUs as our Foundation grows.