Des Moines hospital worker needs book donations so he can keep reading to sick kids

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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCCI) - On any given day, you'll hear a calming voice from inside the pediatric intensive care unit at MercyOne Hospital in Des Moines.

One page at a time, Dane Pratt brings comfort at the bedside of the sickest kids at MercyOne Hospital in Des Moines. (KCCI)

One page at a time, Dane Pratt brings comfort at the bedside of the sickest kids.

"They can still hear, and sometimes it helps to let them know they are not alone," Dane Pratt told KCCI. "Someone is there for them."

Pratt is a cardiovascular perfusionist, which means he runs the ECMO machine for patients like Parker Baker.

"It gives the patient a chance for the heart and lungs to rest, and the body to recuperate," he said.

The 13-month-old from Indianola is on life support after contracting 2 viruses similar to RSV. It's especially dangerous for Parker since she was prematurely born. Her lungs were already weak.

"At a really scary time when we thought we weren't going to see another day with Parker, [Dane] came to sit by her bedside to read to her. It just completely melted our hearts," said Cassie Baker, Parker's mom.

Parker's mom snapped a photo of Pratt reading and just like that people were in awe of his compassion.

"It means the world to me. Going the extra mile doesn't mean you actually have to walk a mile...sometimes you can just read a book," Pratt said.

"He has just been the most compassionate medical professional we have ever met in our life," Cassie said. "We owe so much to him because he truly just gave us that hope to stick with this and she is going to see another day."

Pratt does check the books he reads out of the library, but he could use your help with donations. That way, he can keep reading to let these tiny patients know they're not alone.

You can send books to MercyOne Des Moines 1111 6th Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa.