Lightening Things Up
Hospital stays can be long and stressful for bone marrow, stem cell, and cord blood transplant patients and their families. According to Seattle Children’s Hospital, patients are often there “for months at a time and far from the comforts of home” and “to make matters worse, these patients often need to be in isolation due to their compromised immune systems, cutting them off from the social support that can be a lifeline during a long course of treatment.”
But sometimes, caring staff at transplant centers around the country are able to bring a little joy during long courses of treatment. Seattle Children’s Hospital and Emory University Hospital are two recent examples. In Seattle, the staff called on Facebook fans to help bring a world of cats to a young transplant patient separated from her own pet for more than a month. At Emory, the staff, patients, and families are feeling the Olympic spirit as they participate in games such as “hula hoop contests, bedpan shuffleboard and wheelchair races.”
As Dr. Amelia Langston, Medical Director of the Emory Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant Center, puts it, “people come in here and they are very sick and they stay for a long time. If we can lighten things up a little bit, if we can make it a little more fun for them, if we can make it a little more fun for the staff who take care of these people, day after day, sometimes for weeks or months at a time, then it’s a good thing.”
Check out Seattle’s “Cat Immersion Project” and read more about it here.
Check out Emory’s Hoola Hoop Competitions and read more about it here.