Founded in early 2011, PattyPacks began as an organization designed to assist the families of loved ones born with Congenital Heart Disease (CHD). In the organization’s brief existence it has already evolved to assist families beyond the scope of CHD and now works to provide support to families affected by extensive stays in pediatric intensive care. The goal is to provide emotional support to these families during their loved one’s stay in the hospital as well as provide a support network upon discharge.
PattyPacks is derived from Patterson Grey McKinley’s name. Patterson was born with Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR). His heart condition was diagnosed similar to, and treated as, a single ventricle heart patient which requires a series of three surgeries over three years. Patterson passed away at eleven months of age due to non heart-related complications, but through PattyPacks his legacy will last so much longer.
PattyPacks was formed as a not-for-profit organization aiming to alleviate a family’s emotional struggle while their loved one undergoes heart surgery and the procedure’s subsequent recovery. This experience was drawn from spending months in the Pediatric Cardiology Intensive Care Unit (PCICU) waiting room at the Medical University of South Carolina. We grew to know many families who all faced similar emotional challenges in watching their young child undergo an enormous fight in heart surgery. In recalling Patterson’s brief life, we also have many memories of days and nights in general pediatric intensive care (PICU) at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina. As the organization has evolved, we acknowledged that there is a need to provide similar assistance to the families of many, many pediatric hospitalizations.