Thursday, November 17, 2005

More than just medical care

I am a Child Development Nurse here at the Clinical Center for the Study of Development and Learning and UNC Hospitals, and one of the things I like best about working here is that most of the staff offer more of themselves than just their medical skills. One of the things I'm most proud of here at UNC is the culture of caring. I have a son who was born weighing one pound, 12 ounces, who is now 14 years old. I am eternally grateful to the staff who made it possible for him to be a walking miracle. But I am also grateful for the supports that were in place for us during our hospitalization and the links to community resources following his hospital stay.

I am inspired by my experiences as a mother of a NICU graduate, and what I believe is a higher calling, to try to make the lives of the children and families we encounter here a bit better. I have worked to create child development and parent support programs particularly for children who have experienced prolonged hospitalization. It brings me a great deal of joy to be able to help them physically, spiritually,and emotionally.

I appreciate so much those of you who are donating - especially at a time when our country is in a financial challenging situation. Sometimes this population of children is the group that suffers most at a time like this when there are less funds for social and health programs. We really appreciate your help!

One of the parents in our program expressed, "before I was participating in your support program I could afford the gas to visit my child, but now I can afford to eat too!" One of our program professionals who is also a parent of a child with special needs said,"If I had had this program when my child was born, it would have changed my life. Instead, I lost my husband because of the chaos, and was left on my own to learn to deal with having a child with special needs. I had no one to show me the way."

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for helping us change lives! Jane Barlow, MSN, RN


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