May 3, 2016

Alone In The Hospital

You are lucky.  I am lucky. Together #WeAreLucky

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Until today, I had NO idea how fortunate I am. Many families deal with sickness, cancer, birth defects and more – but if that happened to YOU or ME – we would likely have a village.  A whole phone book of people to call on if we needed them.

Not every child is so fortunate. Many children have surgeries and procedures by themselves, because their mom or dad can’t take a day off work, can’t afford a bus ticket or has no one to watch their other children (kids under 12 often cannot visit a hospital, especially a children’s hospital).

My friend Jennifer Brandt, from Perfectly Dishelved, had a son born with a large mass in his chest last fall.  It was not detected during fetal monitoring or on any tests.  She went to Cedars Sinai to have a c-section because her son was in a breach position.

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During the procedure, her son was stuck.  After some time, and a call for help, her son Oliver was born.  Immediately, the doctors said Oliver needed to go to the NICU.  Her husband Peter followed Oliver, but no one knew what was wrong with him, or why he had a large mass on the right side of his chest.

But Jennifer and Peter were lucky.  They have Children’s Hospital Los Angeles down the street from their home.  When they took him in for his first appointment, the doctor knew exactly what was wrong with him.  This was a huge relief, because until then, his doctors didn’t have answers.

When Oliver was two months old, he went in for his first surgery to start draining the fluid in his mass.  As she sat there, waiting for her son to be done, she was overcome by how many children were there in the hospital by themselves.  Other kids like Oliver, who were being operated on, having kidney dialysis or other treatments, and they were alone.

Can you imagine?  But these kids are not alone because they have unloving or bad parents.  Rather, their parents have obligations that don’t allow them to take off a day and head to the hospital.  They might have a job that they can’t miss for fear of being fired.  They may not be able to financially afford to take a day off from work.  Or they may not have the funds to get to the hospital from their home a few hours away, whether the gas money or metro card is out of reach, or perhaps they don’t have anyone to watch their other children.

No child should be alone in the hospital.

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Jennifer’s son is still being treated, and it’s her mission to raise funds for those families who can’t be there for their kids.  Donate here!

300,000 kids are seen at Children’s Hospital each year. That’s 1 in 25 kids in LA. Can you give back $25 to help a family be there for their child, their baby, their little Harper or Grayson?!

They actually have a volunteer position called the hugger.  These individuals pass detailed background checks just to come in and love children.  But there is no love greater than that of a parent, and kids who have their parents around have better results than those who are alone.

You can be a “hugger” just by donating $25.  Think about it – that’s 5 Starbucks coffees, two lunches, about half a tank of gas.  Won’t you be someone’s hugger?

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