Patrick Experiences Incredible Mental Wellbeing Improvements

As 13-year-old Patrick lay flat for 48 hours in his hospital bed, sensory overload and changes in routine exacerbated stress and feelings of loneliness. 

After surgery for a complex tethered cord, he was required to lay flat for multiple days on his hospital bed. Patrick has tethered spinal cord syndrome, a neurological disorder in which the spinal cord’s movement is limited, impacting bladder bowel motion and memory. 

Patrick, who also copes with PTSD, ASD, ADHD, ID Anxiety, and Depression, experienced overwhelming negative thoughts and emotions, further intensifying his distress during hospitalization.  

“[Patrick’s] PTSD coupled with his Anxiety and Depression exacerbated [his] feelings of loneliness, hopelessness, and worthlessness.” - Kathryn, Patrick’s mom 

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It was difficult for Patrick to maintain positive mental wellbeing during his hospital stay. But Patrick’s mood changed when he put the black controller of the Starlight Nintendo Switch Gaming Station into his hands. 

With the click of a button, Patrick found a sense of relief and emotional support from overwhelmed feelings. When Patrick zoomed down Mario Kart racetracks in a game with hospital staff, he felt a sense of home and connection with others. Patrick felt happiness, excitement, and an overall sense of drive to feel better playing familiar games like these on the Starlight Gaming Station. 

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“The Starlight Gaming Station has deeply lowered his stress, anxiety, or feelings of overwhelm, particularly in unfamiliar or emotionally charged situations like trying to walk again after his tethered spine surgery.” - Kathryn, Patrick’s mom 

In a time of stress and uncertainty, emotional support services like the Starlight Gaming Station gave Patrick a way to cope with the challenges of hospitalization.  

There are over 5 million kids who are hospitalized in the U.S. who need the same sense of relief. You can help seriously ill kids overcome the symptoms of stress and anxiety they feel during hospital stays. 

Donate towards funding a Starlight program today to improve the mental wellbeing of hospitalized kids.

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