HOUSTON (Oct. 17, 2023) – Texas Children's Hospital hosted the 25th annual Bad Pants Open at the Clubs of Kingwood on Oct. 16, 2023, featuring more than 225 badly dressed golfers with big hearts hitting the green to raise funds for the Texas Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
“Every year our team looks forward to this fun and heartwarming event. The support we receive annually from the Bad Pants Open helps to provide our staff with the resources needed to further care for the whole family during a NICU stay,” said Dr. Kristina M. Reber, Chief of Neonatology at Texas Children’s Hospital. “We are so grateful for this long-standing event and the golfers and donors who play an important role in helping our NICU families during such a stressful time in their lives.”
The tournament, which brought in $330,000 this year, has raised over $7 million during the last two and a half decades to aid patients and their families at Texas Children's. The money has allowed the hospital to assist with parking fees as well as provide food and personal essentials to families of NICU patients, in addition to aiding in other social work programs since its inception in 1996.
As one of the largest, most specialized facilities of its kind in the nation, the NICU at Texas Children's Hospital cares for more than 1,800 critically ill newborns annually. The funds from this year’s tournament will enable Texas Children’s to provide even more personalized emotional support and educational resources for NICU families.
This milestone year is incredibly important to Bad Pants Open co-founder Moose Rosenfeld. “Getting to work with the Texas Children's NICU team and be a part of an amazing committee over the years helping families affected by early birth and complex diagnoses has been super rewarding,” Rosenfeld said. “I am proud of our commitment to Texas Children's Hospital and the life-changing impact this event has had throughout the last 25 years. Here’s to another 25 more!”
The 2023 tournament highlighted the story of the Grimes family whose journey through Texas Children’s began before Jadrien delivered their son, Brady, at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women. Following her 20-week anatomy scan, Jadrien and her husband, McCall, learned their son had a left-sided congenital diaphragmatic hernia or CDH.
“Brady had a large opening in his diaphragm which meant his abdominal organs were pushing through the hole into his chest cavity and putting a lot of pressure on his lungs and heart, preventing them from growing and developing properly,” Jadrien said. “When we first learned of his diagnosis, we were told he would spend some time in the NICU, but no one can really prepare you for what that looks like. NICU life is a roller coaster of emotions and every day is different.”
While she was still pregnant, Jadrien and Brady underwent fetal endoscopic tracheal occlusion (FETO), a minimally invasive surgery where a scope is inserted through a small incision in the mother’s abdomen and into the uterus. Guided by a camera on the end of the scope, a small inflatable balloon is placed inside the fetal trachea, where it is then inflated to temporarily obstruct the airway. This keeps the fluid, normally discharged from the lungs while still in utero, in the fetus’s lungs and spurs on development and growth, despite the pressure from the abdominal organs. The balloon is removed in a second minimally invasive procedure prior to birth.
Surgeons removed the balloon from the baby’s trachea when Jadrien was 36-weeks pregnant. and the FETO was deemed a success, as Brady’s right lung grew tremendously — a promising sign he would be able to breathe on his own once he was born and stabilized. She delivered her son five days later, on January 18, 2021. Following intubation, he was immediately transferred to the Texas Children's Level IV NICU. Just one week after he was born, Brady underwent another operation to move his organs into the appropriate places and repair the hole in his diaphragm. He spent a total of eight weeks in the NICU before he was discharged.
“The NICU team at Texas Children's became like family to us, and while our journey had difficult days, I never doubted we were in the right hands. This gave us great hope that our son would be able to go home to join his big sisters,” Jadrien said. “Brady, now two, still sees his Texas Children’s CDH team for regular visits, but he is thriving and is a living testament to the top-notch care provided at Texas Children’s Hospital and its hope-giving NICU.”