Damon was enjoying what he normally does as a 15-year-old teenager – going to school, skateboarding, and gaming with friends.
Fast forward four weeks later and suddenly Damon is in the hospital, painfully enduring a bilateral lung collapse and a blood transfusion resulting from suffering pneumonia. Both were caused by an excruciating sickle cell episode – Damon’s first one in eight years.
Unexpected episodes of extreme pain are a common symptom for sickle cell patients. Damon's mom Liz shares how one of the most challenging parts of sickle cell disease is how suddenly their world can change.
Physical pain, anxiety and stress is disorienting, but Starlight Virtual Reality gives Damon comfort and calm in a time when he needs it most. The VR experiences and interactive games help him distract from and manage his pain. For kids like Damon, Starlight Virtual Reality is a constant companion that helps them relax and feel peace.
Liz, Damon’s mom, talks about the noticeable difference she saw in Damon after he uses the Starlight Virtual Reality headset:
"Positive changes I notice in Damon once he uses VR is that it brings a since of calmness and also has a significant impact in education and self-confidence. For me I feel it's a safe, controlled environment for my son Damon and most importantly he enjoys it and keeps him alive and calm." - Liz, Damon’s mom
Since Damon’s most recent sickle cell episode, he has returned home after almost two weeks of hospitalization. He is now recovering and adjusting back to his regular routine – going to school, skateboarding, and hanging out with friends.
But not every child with a serious illness can enjoy the comfort of home. Hundreds of children must stay in the hospital all year long, battling stress and anxiety. Happiness from a Starlight program can give children the calm and comfort they need to persevere.
Consider donating to fund a Starlight program today. Your generosity will transform a hospitalized kid’s hospital stay, providing happiness when they need it most.