Starlight Kid Corrigan may be young, but he knows a thing or two about long hospital stays. He was born with citrullinemia, a rare genetic disorder that causes ammonia and other toxic substances to accumulate in the bloodstream.
After a decade of managing citrullinemia thanks to his team at Johns Hopkins, Corrigan needed a new liver. He was listed at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., and waited just over 60 days!
“On March 15, 2018, life got way better. All because a generous and selfless family said YES when asked if they’d consider organ donation. We are so thankful,” said Mindy, Corrigan’s mom.
Corrigan’s family lives hours from D.C., so they stayed in or near the hospital for almost eight weeks, unable to return home. During this time, Corrigan experienced the early rejection of the liver and was hospitalized for several more weeks.
With so much time in and out of the hospital, he found an escape from his room through Starlight Gaming.
Starlight Gaming stations are manufactured to meet strict infection safety protocols and roll anywhere in the hospital. Corrigan loved being able to play right from his hospital bed.
“Gaming helps strengthen hand-eye coordination, a skill these kids often lose when confined to bed for long periods and, gosh, it just makes them smile! We would do ANYTHING for that to happen more frequently,” said Mindy.
Starlight Gaming provides seriously ill kids with hours of entertainment playing Nintendo video games and streaming their favorite movies and TV shows through Netflix and Hulu.
Experiencing happiness is so important to mental health. Gaming helps kids create coping strategies that reduce stress and anxiety, improving their mood.
“It is critical that these children experience joy in medical circumstances. Their mental health is so affected by long stays, scary procedures, and separation from friends and toys,” said Mindy. “Playing familiar games and systems, like the ones Starlight donates, gives them that little connection to home and sense of normalcy, allowing them to escape a bit from the hospital they’re stuck in.”
It has now been three years since Corrigan’s transplant, and life is “wonderfully boring”!