The Roundup -

The Medical Emergency Fund Gets People Where They Need to Go and Then It Brings Them Home


Owen Dotson spent five weeks in the NICU and had two surgeries at Children's Hospital in Aurora, CO before being brought home to Sidney.

By March of 2013 we were well aware that our lives were going to change forever; I was pregnant with our third child and busy thinking about the tiny life that would have such a big impact on our family. My thoughts were of baby names and little clothes the day I walked into Sidney Health Center and found out we would be having a boy. That was also the day I learned that my son had spina bifida and would later learn he had, and still has, OEIS Complex.

"Don't go online and research it (OEIS Complex)," one doctor told me. "It's only going to scare you."

Good advice especially since I lacked nothing in the terror department. But life doesn't wait for you to find your courage and we only had a couple of months to get everything in order before I had to be in Denver in case of premature labor. My cousin told me about the Medical Emergency Fund at the Foundation for Community Care, a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring residents of Richland County and the surrounding area have access to quality healthcare. The Medical Emergency Fund is just one of many ways they help to meet the medical needs of the community and I quickly applied. Money isn't something you want to have to think about in the midst of a medical crisis, but expenses are a reality. The Medical Emergency Fund helped with the cost of being in Denver from June until mid-August.

Fortunately my sister lives about 15 minutes away from University Hospital, where Owen Joshua Dotson was born on July 3, 2013 via emergency cesarean before they took him across the street to Children's Hospital, where he would spend the first few weeks of his life. I didn't have a warm baby placed in my arms, but rather just a few moments to caress his skin before they wheeled him off. He was very real and this was really happening. At two days old he had his first life-saving surgery and at approximately two weeks he had his second surgery and all we could do was wait.

Today, Owen is a happy, sweet little boy who loves Thomas the Tank Engine, chocolate milk, and the iron statues outside of the Foundation for Community Care. He's had three surgeries and he has many more ahead of him. We have received an overwhelming amount of support from our family, friends, and the community and have been fortunate to work with some amazing doctors, nurses, and specialists. But, I will always recall the last appointment I had in Billings before moving to Denver for the summer. My regular doctor was gone and his partner was filling in for him. Without even introducing herself, she walked into the exam room and told me that I needed to move to Denver, relocate our family, and plan on being there for the next two to three years because of the severity of Owen's condition and the difficulty that would come with living in such a rural area. She could've been right; Owen requires a lot of medical travel but I am willing to do that because it's what he needs and this is our home. I can do that because there are people in this community that choose to give selflessly to help those they may never know. Giving to the Medical Emergency Fund is a gift that gets people where they need to go and then it brings them home. Thank you.

For more information about the Foundation for Community Care, the Medical Emergency Fund, or to make a tax-deductible donation, visit them online at or contact them at 406-488-2273. The Foundation for Community Care is located at 221 2nd St NW in Sidney.


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