For two days every March, the Little Rock radio station I listen to makes me cry on my way to work.
March is when Arkansas Children’s Hospital holds its annual Champions for Children Radiothon.
They’re shameless. (But in a good way.)
The radio hosts – who can get choked up right along with me – tell story after story of patients and their families whose lives have been touched by ACH staff, volunteers and donors. When they broadcast a little voice telling his or her story, I almost have to pull the car over. Waterworks. Every year.
I would be a blubbering mess whether or not my own loved ones had been treated at Children’s. I’ve known countless families – from church, from work, from wherever – whose kids or grandkids have received treatment there. Heck, several years ago the woman I sat next to at work was treated in ACH’s burn unit after a plane crash in Little Rock. (The hospital’s burn center is the only one in Arkansas and treats adults, too.)
But I do have a family member who’s been treated at ACH. My cousin Tanya’s daughter Emily, now 9, has spent many days and nights at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, having been born with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome and spongiform cardiomyopathy. A mouthful, for sure. Em’s mom texted me a little more detail, at right.
In its list of Best Children’s Hospitals, U.S. News & World Report has recognized Arkansas Children’s Hospital for pediatric cardiology and heart surgery. ACH is also known for its teaching, its research and its patient care, especially for those most vulnerable among us: our children.
I could bring you any number of testimonials from folks I know who’ve experienced the care and compassion at ACH. But I’m going to let Tanya and Emily tell the story from their perspective:
“Our first experience with Arkansas Children’s Hospital was when our younger daughter, Emily, was seven days old. During the scariest moments of our lives, not only did the doctors, nurses and other staff members take amazing care of Emily, they also took care of us. From that moment on, I knew we were a team – her team.
“I had never been in a pediatric hospital before, so I’m always amazed at the creativity and lengths ACH goes to make their facility child-friendly. From the playgrounds and playrooms to the personalities and patience of the staff, it’s easy to see who gets priority around there.
“We were very encouraged by the fact that ACH has one of the best cardiovascular departments in the country. It is such a relief to feel confidence in the team that is taking care of your child. I’ve never once doubted them, or even felt skeptical, about what they were telling us.
“Emily goes back to ACH periodically, for examinations and testing. She doesn’t remember being ‘in’ the hospital, but she knows how special ACH is. (She still refers to it as HER hospital.) We should all be very thankful to have ACH nearby. We are very blessed.”
Here are a few things Emily likes about Arkansas Children’s Hospital.
ARKANSAS CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL
1 Children’s Way
Little Rock, AR 72202
For more information about Arkansas Children’s Hospital, such as a map and directions to the hospital, printable maps of each floor, and so much more, click here.
Tomorrow: B is for “The Boys in the Boat,” a book review.
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