Bridging to Home

One of the things I learned when I expanded my research is that there’s a whole faction of children’s health that I barely knew about. I would venture to guess that most people know that there are nursing homes and assisted living, as well as rehabilitation hospitals – but we typically think of old people when we imagine these settings. However, there are hospitals and facilities especially designed to bridge the gap between hospital and home especially for children.

When I started looking for these facilities, I found myself at a bit of an impasse – there were more than I thought, but not nearly as many as there should be, not nearly enough. I’m not entirely sure you’ll click the link at the end of this, but bear with me for a moment while I explain to you where chronically ill, terminally ill, and special needs children are getting left behind. Think about where medical advancement has brought our society! Children are going home every day, living with things that generations ago would have been a death sentence! That’s a beautiful thing, but it comes with burden and complexities I’m barely even beginning to understand. A long life is only a good one when there are people passionate about bringing goodness into it.

I ramble on here, but the point I’m trying to make is simple: some kiddos come home, whether with a genetic disorder, a traumatic brain injury, an airway malformation, but their medical treatment focuses too heavily on the quantity of life rather than the quality. Specialty hospitals like these walk kiddos through life with all of the medical support they could ever need, but they pick up the slack where a typical hospital would have to leave it behind: they make it fun.

Facilities like these, the exceptional ones I’ve managed to find and define for you, are rarer than they should be. They take these extraordinary children who have defied every odd, and they build an environment where they feel loved, they have fun, they get the care they need. I was amazed when I found that these places offer every kind of therapy, every kind of adaptive technology, every kind of field trip and pet visit and education program. They bring the goodness and light into a life that could be all machines and monitors. You cannot convince me that that isn’t remarkable when it’s done right.

So, here I stand with the evidence that there is care for the in-between. Some kiddos will stay in a long-term care facility for the rest of their lives, reliant on care that only professionals can provide. Others will spend a shorter time in a specialty hospital, taking all the time they need and deserve learning how to breathe on their own, then they go home. Some kids need these facilities for hospice and palliative care, and there are passionate and loving people there to walk them home to Jesus. Bringing quality of life into quantity of life comes in so many unexpected and unexplored forms.

There’s more to children’s health than I ever would have thought, and I hope that you learn something too. Check out the link below!!

Thanks for reading & for being #kidstrong.

Published by carleyguill

Carley Guill - NICU Nerd, FTL Founder - B.S. Nursing, 2022

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