On any given day, you’ll find 11-year-old Daphne outside on her family’s farm, caring for horses, ducks, chickens, turkeys, geese, and rabbits, or playing with one (or all!) of her three dogs. That’s how her mom Danielle knew something was up when Daphne wanted to rest. She was complaining of stomach pain but didn’t have a fever, so her mom thought it was probably just a virus. Being a mom of four, Danielle has seen it all, so she didn’t want to overreact.
Then came July 1st.
Danielle knew it was time to take her youngest to the hospital when she saw her daughter crying on the floor in agony. Once they arrived, Danielle said, “Every minute felt like an hour and every hour felt like a week.” Their local hospital transferred Daphne to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma, Washington to see a pediatric specialist. They discovered that her appendix had ruptured weeks earlier and she needed immediate surgery to remove it and treat the infection that was making Daphne feel sick and in pain.
Danielle said the best advice she can give any parents who find themselves in this situation is “To ask all the questions you can. Be your kid’s advocate and have the doctors explain everything until you understand exactly what is happening.” For Danielle, this helped her get through some really terrifying hours.
The surgery was successful but Daphne had to spend five days in recovery. Days spent in a hospital can feel long and boring; that’s where Starlight comes in. To help pass the time, Daphne enjoyed playing specially designed games like Space Pups on the hospital’s Starlight Virtual Reality headset and participating in arts and crafts projects donated by our generous partners through Starlight Deliveries. These programs made her time in the hospital pass much faster, with less boredom, more social interaction, and even some fun and happiness.
Health emergencies like Daphne’s can happen at any moment. Often times, families don’t have time to plan for a hospital stay. That’s why Starlight programs are so crucial. A critically ill child is still just a kid, and kids just want to have fun and play.
Donate today, or join our first annual Stream For Starlight campaign which brings gamers and streamers together to raise money and deliver happiness to seriously ill children.