My son and I are so appreciative of the Starlight Fun Center at the pediatric ward of Winchester Hospital.
At the end of June, my son Oren woke up with a rash that was terribly itchy and warm and covered most of his torso. Throughout the day, the rash would disappear and later reappear in different areas of his body. The character of the rash was odd and never exactly the same, but consistently more intense and extensive whenever it reappeared.
When the rash managed to cover Oren’s face, he was taken to the emergency. The rash was not responding to the many medications given to him orally and through painful injections. My son had to have an IV placed, which took a couple of tries and was also quite painful. He was terrified and horribly uncomfortable.
It got to be very late at night. We were both very tired, not to mention confused and scared. We were transferred to the hospital’s pediatric unit for a fitful night sleep — which never happened. At 3 a.m. Oren’s joints began to swell, and that’s when I became the most panicked.
A couple of hours later, my son awoke from his sleep a bit dazed. I could not tell if his dysphoria was related to lack of sleep, his medications or a disease process.
I walked down the hall to get some coffee and that’s when I first saw the Starlight Fun Center. I immediately wheeled it back to our room, and when Oren saw it, he lit up, regained all of his cognitive functions and began to smile and show great energy!
Oren said something like, "We can PLAY that?!! Oh, they have Mario Kart?! Will you play with me, Mommy?"
He started playing with the Fun Center and totally forgot about all of his discomfort. The Fun Center made him feel at home in the hospital, and it was very comforting for me to see him be his normal self. I truly believe the Fun Center hastened his recovery. We were discharged a couple of hours later.
Our ordeal was dramatic, but short and had a happy ending. I thought of all the children and parents who have extended stays in the hospital, who suffer through a battery of testing and treatments and who face long periods of time with unknown expectations for recovery. These are the people who need Starlight the most, and these are the people I'd like to ensure have access to Fun Centers as well! Starlight is fabulous, and I intend to donate generously and to encourage others to do the same.
Thank you for all that you do!