Nash has been staying at Ronald McDonald House in Calgary because his little sister, recently diagnosed with cancer, is being treated at the Alberta Children’s Hospital.
That means Nash is getting to know our House and the hospital. The hospital has become central to his family’s routine, so his day looks different from the schedules that most four year olds have. But, like any 4 year old, he has a lot of questions.
It’s the kind of situation where Alyssia Premji, the Family Life Specialist at the House, can offer some support with a Teddy Bear Clinic.
Nash, his grandma and two favourite stuffed animals met with Alyssia one day while his parents were with his sister.
The craft room in the House keeps some medical equipment on hand precisely for guests like Nash. Nash could test out the equipment and ask his questions.
Nash took the opportunity to set up his teddy bear with an IV. He inserted the needle and then a straw into teddy’s furry arm. He then removed the needle and taped down the straw.
For Nash, the best part about the lesson was learning that, when his sister is on IV, only the straw portion stays under her skin; the needle is taken out right away.
Understanding this was a big comfort to Nash. He asked to keep his teddy’s IV straw so he could explain it to his parents.
When a family member is in the hospital, everyone has questions. Teddy Bear Clinic gave four year old Nash a chance to work out answers to his questions. It’s one of the many ways Ronald McDonald House Charities support family-centred care.