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Please join our team to spread holiday cheer to patients and families spending the holidays in the hospital!
It’s my birthday today! My favorite way to celebrate is giving back. This year, I’m inspired by my head writer, Aubrey.
This year, Aubrey has spent so much time in the hospital with her son, Will. She was willing to share some details about Will’s story. He’s the inspiration behind our Children’s Hospital donations project.
We had been concerned about our baby Will’s weight. He just wasn’t gaining like he should.
In August, the pediatrician diagnosed him with Failure to Thrive. It was pretty scary—he had fallen really far off the growth chart.
We had to figure out if he just hadn’t been getting enough calories and why, or if there was a larger problem. We were working to supplement his nutrition and meet with multiple specialists.
I wrote in my journal, “I’m hoping we look back someday and this was all just a bad dream.
Processing guilt, failure, anger, and resentment this week. I feel like the worst mom in the whole world. It will haunt me forever that his fussy cries the past eight months might have been because there is something actually wrong or he’s hungry (and not just colic.)
Exhausted. I have been Will’s primary caregiver and just when it should get easier with a baby at almost ten months, I’m dedicating five hours (or more) day and night to feeding and supplementing.
Plus all the worry, information seeking, appointment and childcare scheduling, appointment attendance, and insurance adjusting.”
Shortly after this journal entry, he caught a nasty stomach bug and couldn’t keep anything down. Because he was already in a precarious position with his weight and nutrition, in a whirlwind, the doctors recommended we take him to the Emergency Department. That was followed by an eight day stay at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, where he was ultimately placed on a feeding tube.
He still has the tube today and we’re managing a round-the-clock feeding schedule at home.
I don’t mean to be dramatic, but it feels like I’m doing the job of five people with no vacations, holidays, or even a night’s sleep. I have had some very dark days mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Will meets regularly with specialists at the hospital for outpatient care. We’re still in the process of determining the reason he has trouble feeding and the best therapy or treatment.
CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL CHRISTMAS DONATIONS
We were at the Children’s Hospital recently for an appointment. I couldn’t stop thinking about the eight days the hospital was our home.
Will’s room wasn’t very comfortable. Cold, hard tile floors. Squeaky, old cage crib. Sad hospital food. Hard couch bed.
Those days and nights were long, hard, and life changing. I saw the sky once, and Will didn’t at all.
Some small things made a huge difference for us. Soft toys cheered up and comforted our baby after traumatic iv placements, feeding tube placements, and blood draws. The child life specialists brought a play mat, baby toys, and books. Magical balloon sent by friends through the gift shop. Good, warm meals delivered by friends.
I know other kids in that hospital have it much worse and longer than Will. I can’t imagine being there for Christmas.
So our family decided to donate some items. I read that the Christmas donations often last throughout the whole year to benefit patients!
I know there are so many ways to give and serve this season. I just wanted to share our family’s project, in case you want to join. The small things can make a big difference on a hard day.
Lisa has been so generous to use her platform to share our Children’s Hospital Christmas Project. She and the Tried Tested and True team have often picked up my slack this year, ensuring that my first priority is my family and Will’s wellbeing. I’m honored to work for Lisa on a team that truly values family and individuals, in word and deed.
Happy Holidays! Let’s do some good together.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
There are multiple ways to contribute. I personally pledge to match any monetary donations up to $1000 for donations that come in through Friday, December 16th.
If you’d like to participate, please donate in the following ways:
- Venmo, @Lisa-Childs-1 (if it asks for the last 4 digits of the phone number, just proceed without entering it.)
- Phoenix Children’s Hospital Target Registry
- Phoenix Children’s Hospital Amazon Registry
Registry donations should be shipped directly to the Children’s Hospital:
Attn: Child Life Department – Toy Drive
1919 E. Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85016
If you make a monetary donation, Aubrey will personally pick up and deliver items to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Every cent you donate will go towards this Secret Santa project. We will post pictures and videos to demonstrate accountability.
If you cannot donate, please consider sharing this fundraiser on social media.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you so much!