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Davis Journal

Farmington girl cuts the ribbon on new Primary Children’s Hospital

Apr 04, 2024 11:23AM ● By Shania Emmett

Hospitals. They are there to help us when we get sick or injured. They are also there when we need surgeries or heaven forbid, ER visits. But many people in Utah will tell you that there is no hospital quite like Intermountain Primary Children’s. Primary Children’s has helped many kids over the years. From newborns to teenagers. On Friday, Feb. 2 Primary Children’s held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to announce the opening of a new location in Lehi.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was special because it not only meant a new location for patients but also a big thing for the family of Nellie Mainor. Nellie, who is from Farmington and just 13 years old was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease causing the loss of both of her kidneys. Ever since she was diagnosed she has been under the care of Primary Children’s and they have been helping her and shaping her life to what it is now.

“Nellie has spent years fundraising, hosting toy drives and blood drives for her hospital,” Sarah Blackburn Mainor, Nellie’s mom said. “It has been such an honor for all of us to witness such an incredible Hospital that will lead the country as a national model for children’s health. It has been an honor to witness this incredible Primary Promise campaign that promises to put the child first and always. We have witnessed this promise in action time and time again. Nellie has always said that Primary Children’s Hospital is her second home with many new family members.” 

Ever since Nellie was diagnosed she has been under the care of Primary Children’s Hospital. Photo courtesy of Sarah Mainor

Because of the experiences and help that Nellie has received, plus her friendship with Gail Miller Nellie was able to have the honor of cutting the ribbon at the opening ceremony.

“Nellie has been blessed over the course of her illness to participate in many amazing events that help kids like her suffering from various childhood illnesses,” her mother said. “One special event was the start of a beautiful friendship between Nellie and Gail Miller on Tuesday, Jan. 21 2020. Nellie was blessed to participate in a press conference at the Primary Children’s Hospital Eccles Outpatient Services Building in Salt Lake to announce the new Children’s Hospital campus in Lehi. It was then that Gail Miller announced their largest single donation of $50 million. After the press conference, Nellie presented Miller with a necklace she had made for her. Nellie said, ‘I wanted to give you this necklace so that every time you wear it, you remember that I love you.’ Nellie then took Miller’s hand and asked her if she would like to take a tour of parts of the hospital she has basically grown up in. This was the start of a beautiful friendship between Nellie and Gail Miller. Nellie’s necklace has been placed in the time capsule to be opened in 10 years.”

Nellie was able to introduce Gail Miller with her speech on the day of the ceremony and tell her story to all who were in attendance. She has been an example to many for what Primary Children’s has done and the work they continue to do for children.

“We know what it’s like to be scared, but going to Primary Children’s makes many kids including myself feel safe and well taken care of, after all, this is our second home,”said Nellie in her speech. “I’ll never forget how lucky I was to be able to show Gail around the places at the Hospital where I’d spent so much time receiving care and the places I’ve basically grown up in. Today, we’re closer to the same height And I still look up to her. And always will. Thanks, Gail, for helping so many kids like me – and not just right now. This new hospital will be around for longer than all of us! Primary Children’s will still be here, always ready to take care of kids in our community. And that’s something we’ll never grow out of. Since meeting Gail Miller in 2020, she has been a beacon of hope to me and other Primary Children’s patients and families. It is now my honor to welcome one of my heroes and my friend to the stage, Gail Miller.”