‘Night of Miracles’ presented by Smiles for Children Foundation raises nearly $60,000

“A Night of Miracles” Nov. 16 held at Naples Grande unveiled plans for Golisano Children’s Hospital’s new surgery center.

The inaugural evening was a night of intimate table conversations with the hospital’s pediatric surgeons and physicians who were seated at each table and shared the need for expanding services as the community continues to grow.

To kick off the Fund-A-Need, 4-year-old Libbi LeDuff was introduced as the 2024 Children’s Miracle Network Champion representing the hospital. Libbi’s mother, Stephanie LeDuff, from Estero, spoke about their daughter’s journey with multiple surgeries and treatments at Golisano as she fought Wilms tumor cancer, not once, but twice. She required surgery both times, and the family credits the surgeons, oncology team, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit team, Child Life and the hospital with saving their daughter’s life. Libbi was 19 months old when she was first diagnosed and is now attending Voluntary Prekindergarten and thriving.

“Throughout Libbi’s cancer treatment, surgery was vital and a lifesaving milestone. This program is not only important to kids like Libbi, fighting for their lives, but is a treasure for our community, giving families the ability to stay close to home,” said Stephanie LeDuff.

The Fund-A-Need raised nearly $60,000 and included Libbi high-fiving many of those who raised their paddles.

“We are so grateful for the support of Smiles for Children for the new pediatric surgery center,” said Chris Simoneau, chief development, marketing and communications officer for Lee Health. “Community support allows us to continue delivering the high level of care needed by our growing community.”

In the last year 5,000 children had surgery at Golisano Children’s Hospital, with only 800 requiring an inpatient hospital stay. With the new surgery center, 80% of those surgeries can be performed outpatient, helping all families get care faster and with the latest technological advances in medicine. The new Golisano Children’s Hospital Surgery Center will provide dedicated, high-quality surgical care for children, reducing wait times for specialized pediatric procedures and making surgery more efficient and at lower cost. Surgical procedures at the center will include fractures, tonsillectomies, adenoidectomies, ENT surgeries, orthopedic procedures and laparoscopic appendectomies.

Details and timeline of the 40,000-square-foot, one-story center, which is expected to cost about $40 million, are still being determined. When it opens, it is expected to include four operating rooms, two endoscopy rooms and numerous exam rooms, recovery bays and pre-op rooms. An estimated $15-20 million is needed from philanthropy to fund medical equipment and furnishings for the center.

Night of Miracles was sponsored by the Smiles for Children Foundation, Aeret Restoration – Golisano’s newest Children’s Miracle Network partner, Inova Building Company and Naples Grande Beach Resort.

The nonprofit Smiles for Children Foundation extends a helping hand by providing resources, services and support that lighten the heart and bring cheer to hospitalized young patients.

To learn how you can support this initiative and other needed services at Golisano Children’s Hospital, visit GiveGolisano.org.

About Golisano Children’s Hospital
Established by Lee Health in 1994, Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida has been named a “Top Hospital” three times by The Leapfrog Group. It is the only recognized children’s hospital between Tampa and Miami. Lee Health opened the new 134-bed Golisano Children’s Hospital in May 2017, relocating the children’s hospital from the adjacent HealthPark Medical Center. It includes comprehensive pediatric services including a 24-hour pediatric emergency department, hematology-oncology unit, milk lab, Regional Perinatal Intensive Care Center, and Level II and Level III NICU with 70 private rooms. Golisano Children’s Hospital is proud to have been named Soliant’s 2018 Most Beautiful Hospital in the U.S., a recognition determined by popular vote. Since 2019, Golisano Children’s Hospital has been a proud member hospital of the Children’s Miracle Network. For more information, visit GolisanoChildrensSWFL.org.

This article was submitted by a Guest Author of the Above Board Chamber.