Until 6 1/2 years ago, I had no reason to enter a children's hospital. Not until this sweet boy was born.
Our little miracle.
Born on December 20th.
Born with Spina Bifida, hydrocephalus, and two adorable clubbed feet.
Born with the spirit of a hero.
For a few years, we didn't take him to a children's hospital.
Not until last year.
And when we stepped into CHOC Children's, our world changed.
Our child was treated like a king.
The team that treats him genuinely care.
He's not just a number.
They remember him.
They ask him about different events in his life.
The nurses remember him. (Even though there are thousands of children that are treated there.)
They ask him to do his pirate face.
They ask him about his soon to come home baby sister.
There are games for him there.
There are crafts at clinic.
There is even music if you go at the right time.
There are therapy dogs that come through. Even through clinic.
When he recently went in for an endoscopic procedure, we walked into his room, and child life had been there...and left him a look and seek book, coloring sheets and crayons, a magnadoodle, and the Disney Channel was on.
What a comfort to him.
He didn't have time to worry.
He was busy from the time he wheeled in.
And then there is my wait.
While my child is wheeled off....
I sit in a beautiful, clean waiting area.
Volunteers ask if I need anything.
Everyone that works at the desk is kind, and patient with parents who are worried and sad.
There is a screen that parents can check to see where their child is at in their procedure.
Before we had our Kumaka, we never thought about what would be important in a hospital, we just tried to stay out of one.
But having a chronic child taught us some things.
And one of the things I have a gratitude for is those people, companies, foundations, and groups that donate money to hospitals.
I am grateful that so much thought and planning was spent on creating a beautiful hospital for my child to be treated at.
I am grateful for things I never would have thought mattered:
Themes for every floor
Shells on the cement by the valet
Choco bear welcoming us
Ryan Seacrest DJ booth
Elevators that have ocean themes
Colorful walkpaths that light up at night
Child Life specialists that put on the Disney Channel, and leave activities for him on his bed
Colorful lead vests in the Xray room
Snacks being offered to not only my child but to me
Ipads during procedures
Emergency Rooms for Children
Colorful paintings on the walls
Even colorful things to look at on the floors
Interesting architecture...not just boring plain white walls
I haven't even spoken of the doctors.
Of the amazing care we get there.
Of the specialists that quietly walk the corridors with strength, knowledge, and a sweet smile for our kids.
Of the nurses who kindly talk to the children, take their vitals, and listen to the parents.
Of the state of the art equipment that is used to test, diagnose, and treat our babies.
These things all cost extra money...but they create a hospital of wonder, a hospital of peace, a hospital that welcomes my child, a hospital that holds my heart in it's hands and protects it.
Thank you CHOC.
A million times thank you.
And to those that provide the funding.....thank you. It matters.