The NICU at Comanche County Memorial Hospital is now named the Terry K. Bell Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. It was unveiled at a ribbon-cutting ceremony following a donation from the Terry K. Bell Trust to the hospital’s foundation.
The funds will go towards purchasing equipment for the hospital’s youngest patients. It will go to Labor and Delivery, Newborn ICU, and starlight, which is the hospital’s children’s unit.
“The biggest thing we need for the NICU is equipment,” said Dr. Richard Boatsman, Chairman of the Board, CCMH Foundation. “Newborn care is kind of different, and especially premature newborn care. It takes a lot of specialized equipment, and this will enable them.”
More beds that keep babies in CCMH’s NICU warm is one of the first items the money from the Terry K. Bell Trust is going to purchase. Babies who are born prematurely need those beds because they can’t regulate their body temperature.
Mike Mayhall, who is a trustee for the Terry K. Bell Trust, said Bell grew up in Lawton and started the trust because he wanted to give back to the community that built him.
“Truthfully, I don’t think he would particularly care about having his name on it because he was somebody that was very generous but didn’t need recognition, but as trustees, we feel like he deserves recognition,” Mayhall said.
Bell helped start Starlight at CCMH. It was something he contributed to year after year, and now the trustees are continuing his legacy.
“We’re really proud that over the last eight years, the Terry Bell Charitable Trust has given Starlight and the hospital $430,000,” he said. “And we’re pretty sure Terry is looking down on us today and saying ‘way to go.’ It’s nice to see his name up there for the neonatal ICU.”
The hospital foundation appreciates the gift amid this pandemic, which has slowed donations.
“It’s one of the major donations,” Boatsman said. “Probably the major foundation that we’ve had this year, and of course, we like all grants, small or large, but we’re just very appreciative. The credit goes not to us but to the Terry Bell Foundation, who is Mike Mayhall, Janice (Bell), and Richard Allen.”
The NICU staff will now compose a list with their primary needs on it. The hospital will then give it to CCMH’s foundation for approval.