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Compassion at the centre

of Rotary Flames House

Thanks to generous community support, Rotary Flames House—Alberta’s first pediatric hospice—has become a place of solace and comfort for families of children with progressive, life-threatening illness. Here, they can find the care they need during their child’s end-of-life journey and well before that point through much-needed respite care.

A team of trained healthcare professionals provide specialized care—24 hours a day, seven days a week—offering rest and renewal for families dealing with the demands of caring for children with medically complex and incurable illness. At the same time, the team customizes programming for these special youngsters to make every moment count. Since 2009, this very special house has made a difference in the lives of thousands of families in our community.

“Everyone at the House is committed to ensuring that each child and family’s physical, developmental, emotional, spiritual and cultural needs are met in a sensitive and caring manner,” says Karen Butel, manager of Rotary Flames House and Pediatric Palliative Services in Alberta Health Services Calgary Zone. “From doctors and nurses to child life specialists, art and music therapists, social workers, volunteers and counsellors, our team makes it their life’s work to ensure a family’s time with their child whether measured in years, months or days is treasured. It’s an honour to walk alongside them on their journey.”


Your impact, by the numbers 

 

 

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1,884
Nights of stay
(2018-2019)

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74
Children and families who received respite care

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95
Children and families
in day programs

 

    

'They are angels in scrubs'

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George's story

As a baby, George wasn’t meeting his milestones. His medical journey would soon reveal diagnoses of cerebral palsy, epilepsy, global developmental delays, brain malformations and eventually, a chromosomal abnormality. George requires 24/7 care, which is emotionally and physically exhausting for his family. 

Kate says she spent the first several months after George’s diagnosis wondering about the life her family would lead. In the midst of their darkest days, George was referred to the Rotary Flames House. There he stayed in a family suite with his mom, dad and brother, Oliver for several days. It was the first time—in a long time—the family had been able to relax together.


“They took us in when we were about to break. I don’t know how we would have managed without them.”

At the Rotary Flames House, respite care allows Kate and Steve time to recharge, catch up on their own sleep and self-care, run errands and devote time and attention to Oliver. Kate knows the staff can handle George’s complex medical needs and says they prioritize his emotional health as much as his physical health. They know exactly how to make him happy or calm him down if he gets upset.

"It’s hard to say ‘I need a break, too,’ because you’ve spent so long in survival mode, and when somebody steps up and says, ‘actually, we can help you with that. We take that off your shoulders for a little while.’ Rotary Flames House lets us do that.”

George is “spoiled rotten” with love, attention, and cuddles and the team makes sure he gets lots of sensory and social stimulation, as George loves being around others. Music therapy has also played a big role in George’s stays at the House. Kate credits the team at Rotary Flames House for “saving” her family more than once. “Honestly, they are angels in scrubs.”

 

 

YOU CAN SUPPORT THIS VERY SPECIAL PLACE
Whether measured in years, months or days, Rotary Flames House helps make the most of every moment in a child’s life.
Your donations make this possible.
 
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    There are always GREAT events going on in support of the Alberta Children's Hospital!                                                  

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