When a preterm or sick infant is first admitted to the Special Care Nursery at GLA, the nursing staff often place them under a radiant warmer. The warmer is an open cart on wheels, with an overhead arm that provides heat and light. These beds are perfect for resuscitating babies and toddlers, starting CPAP, inserting IV's, warming hypothermic infants, and observing critically ill infants until they have stabilized. GLA's only radiant warmer is 28 years old!
Every day, for 40 days, Asha will display a tiny diaper on her website, each with a different design painted onto it. During those 40 days, people will have the opportunity to make a paypall donation. At the end of the 40 days, the diapers will be sold to the highest bidder in a silent, online auction.
Asha explains the origins of this unique fundraiser, which lie in her experiences of parenting her own premature baby, in a well-resourced NICU in the USA:
'When Alana was in the hospital, she wore the smallest little diapers that you ever saw. She was so tiny that we had to fold them in half so they would fit around her little body. I want to paint on diapers because I love the idea of the ordinary being used for something extraordinary. Diapers are an everyday item in many households, but when you think about these little diapers and the tiny babies who are fighting for their lives wearing them, it makes the everyday more personal.
November is Prematurity Awareness month, and I can’t think of a better time for this dream to become a reality! The cost of one warming bed is: $6,750.00, but when I think of how many tiny lives could be saved, I am reminded of what a priceless gift this would be. My hope and prayer is that this project would grow beyond my wildest dreams and support babies who truly need our help.'
To follow the progress of The Painted Diaper or to make a donation, please visit the project website.
Asha holds the first painted diaper in her hands. (Photo credit: The Painted Diaper.)