Friday, January 28, 2022

Pearl Princess is Children's Miracle Network Champ

 Annie Oeth authored the following essay for UMC. 

When Nolee Jones grows up, she wants to be a registered nurse, perhaps caring for children who started life as she did, with a congenital heart condition.

Nolee, whose heart was mended by surgeons at Children’s of Mississippi, is the state’s 2022 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion. The 8-year-old from Pearl stays healthy by seeing her cardiologist at the Children’s Heart Center at the state’s only children’s hospital. 


Children’s of Mississippi is the pediatric arm of the University of Mississippi Medical Center and includes the children’s hospital in Jackson as well as outpatient clinics around the state.  

Every year, 170 local Children's Miracle Network Hospitals identify a Champion in each of their local communities to serve as the face for children treated at their local children's hospital. These ambassadors spend their year advocating for the charitable need of children's hospitals across North America.  

Nolee has been a wonderful patient,” said her cardiologist, Dr. Onyekachukwu Osakwe, assistant professor of cardiology. “She was quite sick as a baby with multiple congenital heart defects. We initially managed her with medications as a baby, but she struggled with gaining weight. Her heart surgery was done before her first birthday, and she had multiple defects repaired."

Following the heart surgery, she has had excellent results and is doing very well, Osakwe said. "I do not anticipate that she will need any further procedures, but we will continue to follow her closely. It is always a pleasant visit when she comes to clinic. She is always very happy and playful. She is a true testament of the excellent services we are able to provide her at Children’s of Mississippi.” 

Pearl Mayor Jake Windham and Miss Mississippi Holly Brand joined Nolee’s friends and family Wednesday in celebrating her announcement as the state’s Champion at the Mississippi Children’s Museum in Jackson. 

“Nolee and her family are the folks that Pearl is about,” Windham said. “They work hard, and they never quit. Nolee is an inspiration to my heart. She has achieved so much in life already, and she’s got a lot more to do.” 

Nolee is “a strong woman in the making,” said Brand. “No one is too young to make a difference, and Nolee is living proof that statement is true.” 

Nolee will bring strength and joy to the role of Children’s Miracle Network Hospital Champion, said Kathryne Lewis, a UMMC development liaison. “She is truly strong beyond her years and has a beautiful, happy spirit.”  

Lewis said her team first met Nolee during Mississippi Miracles Radiothon last year.  

“She was here for an appointment with her cardiologist and wanted to see what was going on in the community room of the Kathy and Joe Sanderson Tower. It turns out it was actually her 8th birthday that day," Lewis said.

"Right away, Nolee came into the event with a big smile and her warm personality and volunteered to share her hospital story live on the radio to support Children’s of Mississippi. She was a natural, and I know she’s going to be a wonderful representative for Children’s of Mississippi and our patients and their families.” 

The family business, Bates Inflatables, has already shown support for Children’s of Mississippi by raising $1,000 in Nolee’s honor.  

About one in every 100 babies born has a congenital heart defect, making it the most common type of birth defect. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 million children live with congenital heart defects. Because of medical advances, there are now more adults – about 1.4 million – than children with congenital heart defects. 

“Nolee is doing great,” said her mother, Chelsea Bates, who is a registered nurse. “It has been a blessing that each appointment with Children’s of Mississippi ends with positive results, and Nolee’s heart is still in great condition.” 

Not long after Nolee was born in Hattiesburg, she began to have difficulty breathing and gaining weight, her mother said. “She wasn’t as active as other babies. The pleasure of drinking a bottle caused fatigue and was literally breathtaking for Nolee.” 

For the first three months of her life, Nolee had several checkups and emergency department visits for breathing problems, projectile vomiting and fatigue. 

“Nolee would become very sweaty and fatigued when trying to drink a bottle, only finishing two ounces before crying herself to sleep,” Bates said.  

After lab tests showed her oxygen level was low, Nolee was taken by ambulance to Children’s of Mississippi. There, it was discovered that Nolee was born with two holes in her heart, an atrial septal defect and ventricular septal defect.  

“Our visit to Children’s of Mississippi saved Nolee’s life,” Bates said. “She was placed on medications to help her heart pump effectively and assist with preparing her for surgery.” 

On Aug. 20, 2013, Nolee underwent open-heart surgery for repairs at Children’s of Mississippi. “We spent several weeks at Children’s of Mississippi, and everyone was truly amazing, caring and supportive toward Nolee and our family.” 

Nolee's care "has been nothing short of phenomenal,” Bates said. “We love the doctors, nurses and staff. I feel that Nolee is in great hands and will always receive the proper medical treatment she requires when receiving care at Children’s of Mississippi.” 

Nolee is an honor roll student at Northside Elementary who enjoys dancing and math. Northside educators attended her announcement to cheer her on. 

“She is a wonderful student,” said Jessica Ferguson, one of her teachers. “Nolee is super sweet, works hard and cares about her classmates.” 

Nolee has always been a champion, Bates said. “She’s proven to be a strong champion already, fighting to survive with a congenital heart defect. Nolee is a beautiful, smart and awesome little girl – it's a blessing that Nolee is still here with us today. Her life is truly a miracle.” 


Anonymous said...

If we could all be as strong.................

Anonymous said...

God bless these resilient kids.
I am reminded to be grateful for my health and incredibly impressed by their strength.

Keep it up Nolee!

Anonymous said...

She is adorable.

Anonymous said...

When my pity party kicks in, I look at these kids and tell myself to stop whining.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful little girl

Anonymous said...

Much credit and applause for the medical team(s) working with these children. Often unsung heroes.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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