A siren blast screeching from the mammoth advanced life support ambulance almost always means a tiny life is in peril. But this time, the short wail is reverberating around a parade of cars, arms waving homemade signs and bouquet of flowers joyfully surprising a dear lady and honoring another.
Judy Keyak’s seemingly ordinary outdoor café lunch with a friend from the Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital Foundation is a ruse — a sneaky yet lovely ploy to award her “The Maggie,” the Council Lifetime Heart Award. Named in memory of Maggie Eynatten, the award recognizes an outstanding Guild member who epitomizes dedication and compassion for All Children’s Hospital. Maggie had a knack for convincing others they could do things they never thought possible to improve the lives of children. “Maggie was a member of our Beach Branch,” cheerfully recalls Judy. She was so instrumental and committed to the hospital. It’s an honor to continue her legacy.”
Like Maggie, Judy’s volunteerism and devotion to children’s health resonates like the siren on the ambulance she helped fund. The Guild she chaired pledged $1,350,000 for a Nursing Excellence Program and the purchase of the much-needed ambulance. When touring the Maternal, Fetal & Neonatal Institute before becoming a Dream Builder through estate planning, she learned of the need for a device in the helicopter to help lower body temperature of infants after suffering oxygen deprivation. “I knew that piece of equipment would instantly make a difference for the children at this hospital. I like the idea of estate planning, but I also wanted to be able to see the results of my donations now and not just after I’m gone,” she said of her multi-year pledge to the device.
“This is wonderful, but I can’t wait to come back,” she says of her volunteering twice a week in addition to her Guild duties. “I miss seeing everyone.”
As the vaccine comes to the frontline workers, a world of possibilities begins to open up.
For Gavin, the hospital isn’t all about challenges and adversity. It’s about giving joy to others.
The holidays she has altered to care for kids are too many to count, but as she retires, she leaves much for patients and colleagues to be thankful.
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