Paying it Forward
When she was three, Lilly developed a high fever right at Christmastime. Though she knew it was for the best, her mom, Allison, was sad her little girl would have to spend the holidays in hospital until her fever was under control. Lilly was at that age where Christmas was especially magical and Allison felt so disappointed she would miss out. However, much to her surprise, Lilly’s Christmas at the Alberta Children’s Hospital was beautiful, memorable, and to this day – five years later – her favourite one ever.
The halls were decked with festive décor and filled with music by the hospital’s talented music therapy team. Lilly was showered with thoughtful gifts. Perhaps best of all, Santa and Mrs. Claus, along with their elves and reindeer, stopped by for a special visit.
Since then, Lilly has been a “frequent flyer” at the hospital. She has a chronic liver disease called autoimmune sclerosing cholangitis and ulcerative colitis – diagnoses that have led to several surgeries and procedures to control internal bleeding and minimize the impact on her gastrointestinal system. Once a month, she has iron and medication infusions to manage her symptoms. Though she’s been through a lot, Lilly loves going to the hospital. Allison credits those Christmas memories and the ongoing, specialized pediatric care designed to make kids as comfortable as possible.
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Patient and Family-Centred Care
In addition to providing the best treatments possible for injuries and illnesses, specialists at the Alberta Children’s Hospital also work hard to care for kids’ spirits.Lean More
The attention to detail, personalized care and special programming have shaped Lilly’s positive view of the hospital, says Allison. Early on in her treatment, Lilly’s gastroenterologist asked her what her favourite drink was. When he learned it was chocolate milk, he ensured she got a nice big glass as a reward for taking her meds – a tradition Allison has carried on at home. Nurses in Medical Day Treatment, where Lilly receives her infusions, have given her control in her care by letting her decide where her IV goes in. And the hospital’s incredible Child Life specialists have been by her side during uncomfortable procedures, keeping her distracted – even entertained – so scary things are a little less frightening.
Inspired by the treatment she’s received at the hospital, Lilly has become a regular “Kids Helping Kids” donor. Remembering how much it brightened her day to be given a gift during one of her early admissions, Lilly now brings toys for other kids every time she visits. Thanks to the amazing care she’s received, Allison is grateful that what could have been a very difficult experience for Lilly has shaped her into a very kind and compassionate little girl.
In addition to providing the best treatments possible for injuries and illnesses, specialists at the Alberta Children’s Hospital also work hard to care for kids’ spirits. Therapeutic programming and resources to support families physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and financially are integral in easing stress during challenging circumstances. Family Centred Care is at the heart of what makes the hospital so very special. Learn more.