Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights,
who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17
Have you ever had sick kids? I'm not talking about a little runny nose or pesky cough. I'm talking about an illness or condition severe enough to put them in the hospital.
Well, I hope you haven't, but I have. I've been with my own precious son in the hospital and I've sat with my younger brother MANY hours over the course of his life...not to mention various children of friends along the way. My son, Carter, has had two hospital stays of 2 or 3 days each. My brother, unfortunately, has spent more days in a hospital than I can count.
Children's Medical Center - Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
Having sick kids is just so very stressful to the parents and to the whole family. We want to protect our kids, keep them safe at all times, shield them from the hurts of the world, from being sick and definately from anything that would be tragic or life threatening. Sometimes, though, we just can't help it. And it is so very hard. Hard to watch them cry. Hard to see their fevers spike as they lay limp and lethargic. Hard to hold them down while they are screaming in fear as blood is drawn or IVs are started. Being the mom of a sick child is so hard and it hurts.
St. Jude Research Hospital
Thank God, though, for the nurses who hold your hand and give you encouragement as you are trying to control the tears welling up in your eyes...and for the beautiful, clean facility that is just standing there waiting for you as you pull your vehicle into a parking garage because something about the looks of that building just make you feel a little more confident that things are going to be ok....and for the surgeon with years of experience and surgery room that is sparkling with clean medical equipment....for the cafeteria with a buffet of choices...for the playrooms, libraries and stacks of movies for entertainment to pass the long hours....for semi-private and private rooms....for donors who contribute to these organizations so that our children can benefit from everything that is available...and so much more.
Children's Hospital at University of Pittsburgh
You see, a hospital stay is extremely emotionally exhausting and difficult...no doubt about it. However, our sick children and their families have access to the best medical care in the world. This is a promotional video for the hospital where my brother was most recently.
If you don't want to watch the video, here's a short list of services offered in an extraordinary, beautifully designed and built facility. (If you watch the video, skip the bullets.)
- Child Life Services that include: the ultimate playroom, library, educational materials, school room, social workers that will play and help your child deal with fear and anxiety caused from being away from home, teen lounge and access to a roof-top, outdoor garden complete with garden swings, walking paths, and even a pond with stepping stones you can walk across.
- Ronald McDonald House for inpatient families that provides: a family room atmosphere decked out with beautiful leather furniture, a extra large flat screen tv, computer lab, kitchen where you can find free snacks and small meals, a refrigerator to store your food, coffee, tea, microwave, laundry rooms, showers, and a volunteer to answer any questions you might have or help you find other things you might need.
- a beautiful cafeteria and atrium dining area...a full buffet of food choices from burgers & fries to roast beef & mashed potatoes, pizza, salad, sandwiches, fruit, soda and snacks. It's a mini-grocery store.
- The Family Resource Center is a library of books and movies for your patient or waiting family to enjoy. There is free internet and computer access here, as well.
- The Social Services Dept. is available to help your child deal emotionally with his/her hospital stay. They provide charts and materials to help your child create a schedule for each day, provide information about services offered in the community and make sure you are as comfortable and happy as possible during this difficult time.
- Dining On Call offers room service for patients and parents. Three times each day, meals are delivered for the patient and a parent. A menu is provided and you get to choose whatever your rumbling tummy desires.
- In Room "Fun"...a tv w/dvd and gaming. Plenty of satellite cartoon channels to choose from as well as age-appropriate closed circuit TV. You can bring movies from home or check them out at the Family Resource Center.
- A chapel and chaplain to support and encourage
- A gift shop
- Beautiful artwork that adorns every wall and sculptures strategically placed for your enjoyment
- A parking garage adjacent to the hospital with an enclosed bridge over the street that opens directly to the front desk, where you will receive your visitor's badge or admitting instructions.
Words aren't enough, but Thank You! Thank You, St. Louis Children's for being there for my friends and family when they needed you. Thank you for supporting and encouraging parents and putting smiles on children's faces even when they are hurting. Thank you, St. John's Hospital, for taking such good care of my own baby! Thank you for taking care of me while I was trying to take care of my son.
THANK YOU to all the thousands of people in this country to devote their lives to helping restore health to others, even while they sacrifice the time and attention their own families deserve and need from them.
And..Thank You, God, for putting me in this place and in this time where I have access to these wonderful blessings. Thank you for giving people the desire to study biology, the developments that have come from it and the knowledge and wisdom that years of study and practice bring. Thank you for providing the needed funding to build the facilities that are pictured in this blog and so many others like them. Every good gift is from You, and our access and level of health care is an incredible gift and blessing. Thank You. Amen