Life can be greatly disrupted when a family member is hospitalized, especially when that member is a child. That's where a local organization steps in to assist as we learn in this edition of Good News with Doppler Dave.
Hospital stays in my experience can be uncomfortable times, they can be anxious times, and exhausting times especially when a child is hospitalized. Well there is a place that can make a hospital stay a little easier.
"So the family room is here to help families with children that are pediatric patients at Northwest Texas Health System. So any family with a pediatric patient at Northwest is eligible to come and we have a family room with a volunteer so they have someone to talk to and ask questions," says Shelley Cunningham, Executive Director of the Ronald McDonald House of Amarillo.
"They can get a cup of coffee, they can get chocolate milk from Plains Dairy, they can get a cinnamelt from McDonald's, and you can't buy those at McDonald's you can only get them at the family room, they can have a snack, they can watch television, they can use the computer so there is a room for that."
"Right across the hall there is a quiet room so families have a place to get respite while they are at the hospital, to get away from the buzzing and beeping and just get a breath and rest and relax and get away from all of the troubles. The families can come and take a shower and do some laundry, wash their child's favorite blanket or stuffed animal and they don't have to leave the hospital to do those things," said Cunningham.
So why you are at the hospital, and how is this room benefiting you?
"Well, I'm at the hospital because I had my baby early, she was 27 weeks and 2 days when I had her. Since I have been here this room has just been home away from home. It has just been so great and why I am here it has been comforting and just peace and quiet and to have a few beverages and it's been good," says parent Eliza Garza.
"So the family room is right outside of the pediatric ward and the NICU and families that have an ill child at Northwest, a pediatric patient, and we consider pediatric patients to be birth through 21. So any family with a child birth through 21 is eligible for the services of the family room," said Executive Director Shelley Cunningham.
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When families find themselves in situations where children are hospitalized, volunteers from the family room of the Ronald McDonald house become part of the family, sharing love and at least some of the comforts of home.