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Medical Airman inspired to give back through CFC

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- When Capt. Jamion Lewis, 14th Medical Support Squadron Resource Management Office and Medical Readiness flight commander, was 8 years old, his sister was born with her heart in the wrong spot in her body.

A children’s hospital in Texas, Children's Medical Dallas, took such good care of her and supported her and their family through a difficult time that it impacted Lewis and motivated him to join the Air Force Medical Services and even participate in donating to a number of children’s hospitals through the Combined Federal Campaign.

“I give to a multitude of different children’s hospitals because my sister was born at a children’s hospital,” Lewis said. “I was 8 years old at the time, and I still remember this, that as soon as she was born, she had to undergo essentially a heart surgery.”

This was an intense time for his family. In order to save her, doctors had to perform surgery to move the heart into her upper abdomen and over to the left side of her chest.

Shauna Hill, Lewis’s mother, said she was heartbroken and concerned for her daughter when she heard her baby had to immediately undergo surgery after she was born. She prayed day after day, hoping that she would survive.

“Although my mind at the time wasn’t fully developed, I still knew it was a big deal that my sister needed surgery as soon as she was born,” Lewis said. “I really didn’t know how significant it was until I got older. I’m sure my mom had questions if she was going to survive or not.”

While at Children’s Medical Dallas, Lewis noticed how well they cared for his mother and sister from birth to recovery. He knew that his mom was extremely stressed and exhausted, but was grateful for the staff and their attentiveness around his family.

“She was in the hospital for about the first six months of her life, but once she got out and we got to bring her home, I remember loving on her and how precious she was,” Lewis said. “She’s still precious today. That just made her more significant. We tried to get everything out of life with her.”

Seeing the diligence and care that was provided to Lewis’s family gave a reason to give back through the CFC.

“Giving makes individuals feel a certain type of way,” Lewis said. “People get a sort of gratification from giving. I enjoy that aspect of it- the small amount that I give can help support life or continue healthcare for kids. That makes me feel good knowing that I’m supporting that.”

According to the CFC, their mission is “to promote and support philanthropy through a program that is employee focused, cost-efficient, and effective in providing all federal employees the opportunity to improve the quality of life for all.”