Listen Live
Isaiah Jackson to Peyton Manning Children's Hospital

Source: Ascension St. Vincent Indianapolis/Brenna Ford 

INDIANAPOLIS–An Indiana Pacer decided to visit Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis Tuesday. Pacer forward Isaiah Jackson showed up to provide support for parents who have babies that are born premature or have other complex health issues in the hospital’s NICU (neonatal intensive care unit).

Jackson met a baby named Braxton who was born early and offered encouragement to his mother Brittany.

“There’s always light at the end of the tunnel. I get told that every day about my parents. Times get hard and you’ve got to push through it. Stay tough, be a fighter. You’ve got to fight and keep fighting,” said Jackson.

Jackson visited with several families, learning about their babies and chatting about everything from their NICU journey to IndyCar and video games.

“I have families that are here for months, even up to a year. So just to have a day where they can forget about their troubles and enjoy somebody who everybody knows to come and visit them, is just going to bring such joy,” said Dr. Melissa Leedy, neonatologist and co-director of the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital NICU.

Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital has a Level IV NICU, which doctors there says offers the highest level of care to infants born premature or with other various health problems. It is also a Level 1 Children’s Surgery Center from the American College of Surgeons, and is the only neurosurgery program in Indiana designated with The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Brain Tumor Care.

Jackson was selected with the 22nd pick of the 2021 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers and then traded to the Indiana Pacers.