On October 20, The 19th Annual Bad Pants Open golf tournament, presented by RBC Wealth Management and Capital Markets, raised funds that will support life-saving programs and services for the tiniest patients at Texas Children’s Newborn Center who are in need of premier medical treatment. Each year since 1997, the turnout at the annual golf outing continues to soar.
“As a grateful parent and a representative of the presenting sponsor, it’s very exciting to see how much the tournament has grown over the years,” said Les Fox, Bad Pants Open committee member and managing director of RBC Wealth Management. “We filled three golf courses with nearly 400 golfers wearing some really bad pants to raise funds that will directly support the care of premature babies and their families. I can’t wait to celebrate our 20th year in 2017!”
The Bad Pants Open Golf Tournament included a check presentation to Texas Children’s Newborn Center. The proceeds will advance innovation and excellence in the research, treatment and care for the more than 2,500 critically ill and premature infants who are treated at one of the nation’s largest and most experienced neonatal intensive care units (NICU) each year. Proceeds from the tournament will also benefit the new NICU at Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands.
Crystal Cruz, the recipient of the 2016 Bad Pants NICU Nurse of the Year award, said this generous donation will go a long way to improve patient outcomes.
“Giving is an act of charity, and every year The Bad Pants Open Golf Tournament helps Texas Children’s continue to make miracles happen,” Cruz said. “I am extremely grateful for this event and all that is donated to help us save these precious, tiny lives we are entrusted to care for.”
Grateful Patient Family
Becca & Mike Schiff
Becca Schiff is no stranger to caring for tiny babies. As a nurse in Texas Children’s NICU for the past nine years, she has helped to care for the smallest, sickest and most vulnerable patients. But Becca would see the NICU in an entirely new light when her twins, Elliott and Jonah, were born at only 24 weeks and had to fight for their lives in the very hospital where their mother provides care every day.
The night the boys were delivered was one of the most difficult nights of Becca’s life. Through her experience in caring for premature infants, she knew the chance of survival for a 24-week baby was about 50 percent. Having two babies meant she really only had a 25 percent chance of bringing both of them home. She also knew that it was very likely they would suffer many complications from being born so early.
Despite knowing all that could go wrong, Becca was also absolutely certain that she was in the best possible place to face this challenge. The team of experts at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, who had cared for her throughout her pregnancy, took incredible care of her that night. When she awoke after the delivery, the first question she asked was: “Are they alive?” Her neonatologist, also one of her best friends, was right there to tell her, “Yes.”
Jonah and Elliott each weighed only 1 pound, 6 ounces. During their six-month journey in the NICU, the twins faced many challenges including brain bleeds, liver failure, bowel perforations and pulmonary hemorrhages. Jonah had an extensive six-hour liver surgery to save his life. Against the odds — and thanks to the specialized care they received in the NICU — Jonah and Elliott continued to grow stronger.
“I felt like I could be one of the most qualified and empathic people to care for these families after my experience — and I had a duty to do just that.” –Becca Shiff
Today, the twins are thriving. They recently celebrated their 2nd birthday and are walking, talking and playing with their big sister Charlotte. After this harrowing experience, many of Becca’s friends assumed she would never return to work as a NICU nurse. In fact, the opposite was true.
“From the very beginning, I knew I would be back,” Becca said. “I felt like I could be one of the most qualified and empathic people to care for these families after my experience — and I had a duty to do just that. I want to be here to ensure that all babies in the care of Texas Children’s NICU have the chance to do as well as my twins did. That is the only way I could begin to repay Texas Children’s for saving Elliott’s and Jonah’s lives.”