How do you celebrate the holidays and give thanks when a child you love is in the hospital? Although we do everything we can to get kids discharged over the holidays, we estimate 270-280 children will be inpatients this Thanksgiving. Hundreds more will be seen in our emergency department. Many of the hospitalized children are newborns in our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and children who are just too sick to be discharged – even for a brief period of time.
Additionally, more than 1,000 staff will work on Thanksgiving Day– hats off to our dedicated nurses, patient care and support staff. Also working will be researchers who continue to monitor their work around the clock as well as homecare staff who will be making their rounds to patients who need daily support. Finally, special thanks to all our volunteers who will be giving their time to provide special treats and activities for children and families. It’s true that the work doesn’t ever stop – just because it’s the holidays.
We will have traditional Thanksgiving feasts for both staff and patients (although kids can still order pizza, grilled cheese or whatever they’d like through our on-demand room service program). Our Family Resource Center will be open with Football on the Big Screen TV and every Playroom will be open and ready for some thanksgiving arts and crafts.
So what would you do if you had to spend your Thanksgiving at Children’s? I know many of you reading this have spent the holidays here – as patients or as staff – and I’d love to hear from you.
From our family to yours. Happy Thanksgiving.