You can bring light to a patient in need and give a family peace today.

Your gift this year can ensure that there is a person to walk with the most critically ill patients when the need for support is at its greatest. Children’s Minnesota’s Pain, Palliative Care, and Integrative Medicine program (PPCIM) cares for some of the most medically complex and fragile children in our community. The psychological health of these patients and their families is an important part of the care they receive at the hospital, clinic, and home.

An example of the care you can provide is evident in Claire’s story:

Claire was a 13 year-old child who lived with her mom, dad and her two older siblings when she had a life-threatening reaction to antibiotics that resulted in multi- organ failure. After months of intensive medical support, a multi-organ transplant at another medical institution, and a year in the hospital, it was determined that Claire’s body was rejecting her new organs. She talked with her parents and told them she had had enough. She wanted to go home and live a peaceful life for as long as she could. As a result, Claire was admitted into the Children’s Hospital Home Hospice Program –part of the PPCIM program.

Claire’s 7th grade picture – before she got sick.

Even though her prognosis was terminal, Claire had goals! She wanted to stay out of the hospital, to be a regular high school student, and to create a legacy project to gift to her family. With the help of her family, medical team, and psychosocial specialists at Children’s Minnesota, she accomplished all of these goals with one small exception.

Claire’s plan was to create a scrapbook for each family member in time for Christmas. Claire’s Child Life Specialist was her partner in this activity. As they prepared the pages for each scrapbook, it became apparent that she was sharing her life review with her care provider. She told stories of times she remembered and times that she thought she had forgot. Claire worked tirelessly with her Child Life Specialist going through pictures from her early childhood through the time of her illness.

Claire with her Child Life Specialist, Mike.

As Christmas approached, Claire’s health further declined. Eventually, her Child Life Specialist would take direction from Claire and complete the pages for her. By Christmas Day, she had all but one scrapbook complete to gift to her family. Claire hadn’t finished her sister’s pages.

While Claire considered this a failure, the Child Life Specialist asked her to think of the unfinished pages as an opportunity for her sister to complete and recall the memories and emotions from their sisterhood and find meaning in the experience. Claire cherished the thought!

CHA is pledging to partner with Children’s Minnesota’s Pain, Palliative and Integrative Medicine Care team in 2020 to ensure more patients and families like Claire’s have the opportunities and resources they need. One of the most significant obstacles to obtaining appropriate pediatric palliative and hospice care is funding. Not all services that are needed for palliative or end-of-life care are covered through insurance. It’s for this reason, CHA invites you to join them in supporting our efforts to support the critical wrap-around that make the care experience at Children’s truly exceptional. When you support CHA with your year-end contribution you are supporting services like Child Life, PPCIM, Chaplaincy, Music Therapy, and so much more. Thank you for bringing peace and healing to so many families this holiday season.

You can support CHA by:
• Joining our mailing list
Joining a Guild, or starting a new Guild!
• Following us on Facebook, @CHAstpaul
Attending, or volunteering at an event
• Giving a gift. Click here to donate.

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