Starlight programs are for every child experiencing illness, including chronic illness. Over 40% of school-aged kids experience chronic health conditions, and while some are manageable with at-home treatment, many result in appointments, check-ups, and hospital visits over long periods of time.
For kids like 4-year-old Edison and his family, a lifelong chronic illness has brought a series of challenges. Due to a stroke in utero, he began having problems swallowing after he was born, which caused aspirations during the first year of his life and made it necessary for him to eat and drink using a gastronomy (g) tube. In addition to multiple procedures to repair his paralyzed vocal cords, Edison was diagnosed with chronic lung disease, which makes him at high risk for other illnesses like pneumonia.
Because of the nature of his disease, Edison needs constant care to ensure he stays healthy. The Covid-19 pandemic made it difficult to receive at-home care between visits to the hospital, but his family was introduced to A Rosie Place, one of Starlight’s hospital partners that provides specialty care for kids like Edison, as well as a respite for their families.
“[A Rosie Place] treat it like a home. The kids get one-on-one nursing care, and a nice room that is similar to a hospital, but they decorate it really nice so it doesn’t feel like a hospital. They and they let you drop them off and take care of them until you pick them up, so parents can get a break,” shared Edison’s mom Mallory.
In addition to providing essential care for kids, A Rosie Place also accepts donations of medical supplies, which is how Mallory learned about Starlight’s Radio Flyer Hero Wagon! When the staff realized how frequently Edison and his family traveled to and from the hospital, they decided to give them a Hero Wagon to help make those trips a little easier.
“Edison’s hospital is a 6-hour drive,” Mallory shared. “I lug around so much and he’s not a small kiddo. He’s outgrown a stroller, but isn’t ready for a wheelchair, which couldn’t fit into my vehicle anyway. The Hero Wagon is the perfect alternative because it’s compact and foldable."
The Hero Wagon allows Edison to bring his toys with him to the hospital, helping him stay busy and entertained wherever he is. It is comfy and roomy, so Edison can sit in the wagon with all his toys and feeding supplies and ride into the hospital in style. Additionally, the wagon comes with a pole attachment — perfect for attaching Edison’s feeding tube.
Starlight’s Hero Wagon has been an incredible source of comfort and support to Edison’s family while managing his illness. Give today to ensure that hospitals and medical facilities across the country have access to Starlight programs to support patients, like Edison.