Employee Crisis Fund helps young family in need

October 24, 2017

Vanessa Erickson, a registered nurse at Sanford Bismarck, had never heard of the Employee Crisis Fund. But when she found herself in need, her Sanford Family was there to help.

Vanessa became a first-time mom on February 11. Her daughter, Emma, was born without an esophagus and with Down syndrome, needing urgent attention. Shortly after her birth, Emma was rushed to the Sanford Partners Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Fargo for the specialized expertise needed to save her life.

Once Vanessa recovered from labor, she and her husband, Nathan, followed as soon as they could.

“Those were the longest hours of my life, driving from Bismarck to Fargo,” Vanessa said.

For the next month, the Ericksons lived out of a hotel in Fargo, making trips to the NICU every day to see Emma. The Employee Crisis Fund helped pay for meals and keep their gas tank full as Emma grew stronger.

“That was amazing,” Vanessa said. “It’s super awesome that this resource is there for employees. It was nice not to have to worry about the extra costs for that time, and just to be with Emma.”

Today, Emma is a happy, healthy baby. She’s a smiley little girl who delights her mom.

“It’s really fun now because she’s not hooked to any equipment anymore,” Vanessa said. “It’s fun to watch her play with toys and just to see her be a baby.”

The Employee Crisis Fund helps families when they need it most. Any Sanford Health employee can apply for funds.

Employees can support this crucial resource by giving through payroll deduction, a PTO donation or a one-time gift by calling the Foundation at (701) 323-8450.


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