Radiothon Changes Lives Like Henry’s
Like most two-year-olds, Henry loves playing with trains and cars, and his beloved stuffed turtle. Unlike most other children his age, though, he spends much of his day in a hospital bed, hooked up to a dialysis machine to keep him alive.
Henry was born in kidney failure and the Alberta Children’s Hospital is now like his second home. As he waits for a kidney transplant, he visits the hospital four times a week to receive hemodialysis, which filters his blood since his kidneys can’t.
Sitting in a hospital bed for hours a time is hard for a busy toddler. Thankfully his hospital stays are made much easier with the help of compassionate Child Life specialists and music therapists who play games and musical instruments with him, distracting him from his long dialysis treatments, lessening the stress of hospitalization and adding a bit of fun too. Community support makes this specialized, therapeutic programming possible.
“Henry loves to play the instruments, but he prefers the drums―of course, the loudest instrument!” says his mom, Lisa. “And we appreciate the help entertaining a two-year-old who just wants to get out and run around and play.”
Henry’s family has also found peace and relief at Emily’s Backyard, a free child-minding program at the hospital, also made possible by generous community donations, where Lisa and her husband Steven can drop off their daughter Hannah during Henry’s appointments. Beyond a place that cares for Hannah, it has also become a very special place for Henry. Filled with toys, books, games and kind people ready to play and read, Emily’s Backyard is somewhere Henry loves to be following his lengthy appointments.
“After sitting so long, playing at Emily’s Backyard is something Henry really looks forward to,” says Lisa. “He goes straight to the door and runs in to play with the trains. The staff there have become like family to us, and they have made our frequent trips to hospital so much easier and happier.”
The Alberta Children’s Hospital is Henry’s lifeline. And every year, more than 100,000 other children and families rely on it for world-class care too.
Donations from the community are crucial in ensuring that in addition to providing the best treatments and cures, our experts have the right resources to care for kids’ spirits as well. Support like yours is vital in ensuring family-centred care remains at the heart of the hospital, and that kids get to be kids first.
Today, Lisa and Steven’s home is close to the Alberta Children’s Hospital – so close it has a front window that frames the big bright building on the hill.
“Now, whenever we look outside, we see our ‘beacon of hope’,” Lisa says. “We are so grateful to everyone at the hospital who makes our hospital stays brighter.”
We hope Henry’s story inspires you to tune in to our 21st annual Country 105 Caring for Kids Radiothon February 7, 8 and 9 and give, knowing your support can keep that beacon shining bright for children like him and their families.
When you support the Country 105 Caring for Kids Radiothon, you ensure children in our community and beyond can receive the best life-saving, life-changing care possible when they need it most. If you are ready to make a difference today, please make your donation online.
Please mark your calendars for February 7, 8 and 9 to hear other grateful family stories. You can make even more of them possible.
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