UPDATED Monday, June 10, 2013 --- 12:15 p.m.
Green Bay Packers Coach Mike McCarthy and his wife Jessica raised $325,000 for the American Family Children's Hospital as part of the 4th annual McCarthy Golf Tournament.
In the four years of the event, the McCarthys have raised $825,000.
The money goes to the children's hospital's “Sick Kids Can't Wait” campaign. It's a four-year, $32 million expansion projects. UW Health says the project is to meet the growing needs of patients and families.
Posted June 9, 2013 --- 1:35 p.m.
Construction on the American Family Children's Hospital in Madison is underway after starting last fall. Sunday, Green Bay Packers' head coach Mike McCarthy stopped by to tour the expansion.
Joined by his two sons and wife, Jessica, McCarthy took the day off from being football coach, and instead took on the role of being a voice for sick children.
"Being a football coach is something that you obviously put a lot of work into," he said. "Your family is the most important gift that we all receive and now to be able to extend yourself into the community, and give back and be part of something like this is, it's just incredible."
Each year, the McCarthys visit with patients before the annual McCarthy Golf Tournament. It starts Monday, and benefits the "Sick Kids Can't Wait" campaign--a four-year, $32 million building project for the hospital. Sunday, McCarthy went up to the 8th floor to see the progress so far, and asked the public for help completing the construction.
"It's about raising funds to continue these types of projects to make sure that these children have what they need," McCarthy said.
A neonatal intensive care unit is set to be built there, and should be ready for patients by next spring. Plans also include adding 26 pediatric intensive car beds, another operating room and specially designed pediatric imaging capabilities.
They are services that will allow doctors to help more babies, like Landon Bartels, who received open heart surgery at the Children's Hospital earlier this year.
"Because of the success of the surgery, Landon was discharged only one week after that surgery," said Landon's mom, Emily Bartels, who met McCarthy Sunday.
For all the children who have not yet been discharged, the McCarthys also paid them and their families a special visit in the hopes of providing some comfort, if only for a moment.
"If you can just create a smile, or some sense of support and to touch the families," McCarthy said. "You know the families are going through it with the kids. And I just feel so blessed to be a part of it."