I hope everyone is having a fantabulous day – I know I am!!
I had a tour this morning of the American Family Children’s Hospital. It is impressive! It impressed me most from a visual and feeling standpoint. It doesn’t look or feel like a hospital. It has fun things in it – desks that look like your at a train station, footprints on the floor, hallways that look like the street – just fun. In fact at the beginning of the tour you had to stop and look all around, up, down, right, left, just to take it all in.
Even the exam rooms had some fun things, chalkboards about a foot off the floor, lights on the ceiling that looked like the stars at night. All things to help kids take their minds off being in a hospital. After all, who wants to be sick and in a hospital anyway. I haven’t been, but I remember 3 of my brothers being in the hospital different times throughout their childhood.
Hospitals can be such a scary place, especially for a child. The rooms so bright and stark white and noisy. These were not. It was quiet, and the rooms had a lot of natural lighting, not the bright bulbs from above. Many sections had a ‘home’ type feel to them – family kitchens, play room, laundry room etc. The laundry room was particularly nice and it felt just like one you’d find in a family home, except for the massive commercial washing machines. Those made me very jealous – imagine all the washing I could get done at once in one of those! My mum’s best friend used to own a laundrette and she said the big washing machines were amazing. She would do a weeks’ washing all at once and it would be cleaner than a normal household washing machine could ever get it.
Anyway, back on topic, the last floor of our tour was the ‘future floor’. It was under the early stages of construction. Thoughts of my Mom and Chris, my brother who passed, came up. He was 4 years old and had cancer, leukemia I think.
Unfortunately, leukemia tends to be the most common type of cancer that is found in children. It is a cancer of the bone marrow and blood and can have a devastating impact on their lives, just like it had on my brother Chris. Just the thought of knowing that many children across the world are suffering with this cruel disease every day is heartbreaking to me, and I would love to find a way to help. Maybe I should have a look at these fundraising ideas to find out what I can do to help raise money, as well as awareness for childhood cancer. And as September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, I could start making preparations to do it then. If I can help to save one child from cancer, then it will be worthwhile. I just hope this hospital can help to make a difference too.
Now throughout the tour, I felt the Angels were aplenty, many feeling so happy they are able to be there with the kids and their families. But on the last floor, memories of when Chris was sick came back. I don’t remember him being in the hospital so much, but I do remember him having radiation treatment. And the room was very similar to what a hospital would be like – bright lights, linoleum floors and cold. And Chris, such a little boy on this big table getting radiation.
The thoughts of how much calmer he may have felt if he would have been in a place like the Children’s Hospital today. And how much easier it would have been on Mom and Dad if they were in a place that would help with their comfort level as well as Chris’.
I know times change, we learn more things and evolve to better ways of doing things.
I know Chris and Mom were there with me today, as well as the Angels, giving their love and support to me as well as the children and families who were staying there. And I believe they will continue to support kids and their families there as well.
Thank you Mom and Chris, I love you. And thank you Angels for the support you give to all the kids and their families and to me. And thank you T for setting up the tour :).
Angel Blessings to you.
PSA (PS Affirmation) I am joyful for the family in my life, in the physical and in the beyond. Thank you for the lessons and the love.
I especially liked the part of how we are always learning and finding better ways of doing things! It also reinforces that just because it was done this way for a long time doesn’t mean that we can’t change things up and improve.
Yes, because I know they did the best they could with what they knew – we just know differently now so have improved – and I know we are all improving with what we know as well. 🙂
Sue, Years ago I did some volunteer work with “Hope for Kids”. We took the Easter Bunny with baskets and Santa Claus with toys to the pediatric wards at all 3 hospitals. UW did not have the Childrens Hospital built yet and only had a few play rooms. I remember visiting a neighbor child who I used to babysit for as a teenager and thinking how awful the rooms were; not even a clock on the wall; and how difficult it would be for any child to be in the hospital. I believe I can imagine what you felt. Blessings back to you. Marianne
This was a really inspiring blog. Hospitals are pretty scary places for adults too, but of course more so for children. Think of natural light and comfortable seating and some COLOR in hospitals – how cheering and health-inducing that would be for folks undergoing treatment, how encouraging and comforting for anxious visitors.
I also wondered about the “future floor” — do you know more about what it will be used for? Is it just more space, or is there a new purpose, another environment proposed for it? Just curious…
Thank you for the awesome comments everyone. The ‘future’ floor will be for NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) and PICU ( pediatric intensive care unit) an additional 24 beds. On their site they have a video tour that’s really short. It doesn’t show the future, but shows the current. Awesome!