About PattyPacks

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.


Patterson McKinley

April 25, 2010 – April 2, 2011

How can the organization assist so many families, you may ask.  There are a lot of families of children who are admitted to pediatric intensive care units (cardiac included) that probably feel as though their life has been turned upside down in the blink of an eye.  Furthermore, their life may actually be changed forever in that quick moment.  It is a daunting task so, at this juncture, we provide the signature PattyPack (hence the organization’s name).  The PattyPack is a draw-string backpack or a tote bag that contains a few necessities for the family’s care in their trying time.  The PattyPack is intended for families that will spend an extended period of time in the Intensive Care Unit (hopefully, brief stays in the PICU are not as serious).  Most importantly, it allows us to reach out and connect with these families and hopefully open a network of support for their need.  Note that the PattyPack is intended for the family.  Believe it or not, the children cannot be in better hands in pediatric intensive care units. The expertise and love of its nurses and doctors is second to none and we believe that it is the families that need the extra attention.  Mothers, fathers, siblings, grandparents and aunts and uncles all do their best to wait patiently as their loved one is admitted to the ICU.

We set out with a couple of goals and as of 2013 those goals are:

  • The first goal is meet the needs of MUSC’s PCICU families.  This is approximately 500 bags per year.
  • Meet the needs of Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital PICU families.  This is approximately 800 bags per year.
  • Connect with as many of the PattyPack recipient families as possible to learn how to better assist others in their difficult time(s).
  • Raise awareness of the organization and its mission in the communities that we serve for the purpose of increasing the families’ emotional and financial support network.

The ability to attain our goals is largely based on financial support of the organization.  Financial support is attained by:

  • Attracting charitable donations through our community awareness campaigns.  PattyPacks is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization.  Charitable donations are tax deductible (*consult your tax advisor).
  • We currently host two annual fundraisers, a pancake supper and a 5K/10K race/walk.
  • Accepting opportunities to participate as a recipient organization of business’ and other organization’s fundraisers.  For example
    • Gilbert Middle School hosted the Royal Flush campaign in early 2013.  $1500 in proceeds were donated to PattyPacks
    • Several businesses have hosted a weekly jeans day where the proceeds are donated to PattyPacks
    • Lake Murray Elementary School hosted a spring carnival type event with a run/walk where nearly $1300 was donated to PattyPacks.  The event was headlined by two teachers competing to raise the most money in a loser shaves his head contest (though both rocked the mohawk when all was said and done!).
    • Area church’s and social organizations perform supply drives for items needed in the PattyPack

Please see more information about assisting the organization on the donate page and the fundraising page.

In loving memory and honor of Patterson Grey McKinley.

katies_jpg_srzKatie McKinley

Katie. Patterson’s mom, is a 5th grade teacher at Midway Elementary School in Lexington, South Carolina.  As so many women are, Katie is busy in her role as a mother, educator and is also very active at Zion Lutheran Church.

david_jpg_srzDavid McKinley

Dave, Patterson’s dad, is a CPA at a Hughes, Sealey, Grant and Associates, a public accounting firm in Irmo, South Carolina.  Like Katie, Dave stays busy as a father and in his role at Zion Lutheran Church.


PattyPacks is a 100% volunteer-run not for profit organization.  We are always happy to have willing volunteers in raising awareness, and hosting or assisting with fundraising​

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