Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

Chicago couple raises money to cover parking fees for parents with babies in the hospital

Carrie and Terry Meghie don't want the parents of sick children to have to worry about paying for parking while at the hospital, so they started a foundation in memory of their son to offset the cost.

Jackson was born prematurely and died when he was 10 months old. He spent most of his life inside the neonatal intensive care unit at two Chicago hospitals, and while the Meghie family was able to afford the parking fees, they knew for some parents already worried about their child's condition, having to pay for parking was an added stress. Since starting the Jackson Chance Foundation in 2013, Carrie and Terry Meghie have welcomed another son, 4-year-old Maxson, and raised more than $1 million — enough to pay for a monthly parking pass for every family with a baby in the NICU at Lurie Children's Hospital. Last week, they announced that they can now do the same for parents with babies in the Prentice Women's Hospital NICU.

The foundation works directly with parking garages to cover the cost of a pass — $300 a month. Without the pass, fees can easily reach more than $1,000, Carrie Meghie said. The passes have in-and-out privileges, so family members can leave and come back without worrying about paying every time. "We look at it as providing one pass for every baby — it could go to mom, dad, grandma, a cousin," Carrie Meghie told The Chicago Tribune's Heidi Stevens. "It gives the baby the opportunity to have someone at the hospital with them."