In order to maintain patient privacy, the names of the patients and their families have not been mentioned. These are real stories that present examples of how similar families may be helped by No Empty Bedsides.
One parent had to sacrifice stable housing and employment in order to maintain presence at their child's bedside. Funding from No Empty Bedsides has allowed us to support this parent's presence by offsetting expenses of parking, meals in hospital, and lost wages. The child has been hospitalized for over a month and had been admitted several times a year with complications of the underlying condition. We have been able to give $1000 to support the family’s presence in the hospital, on which the child is very dependent, not only for emotional support, companionship, and advocacy, but quite literally for communication.
An extremely premature infant, with an anticipated stay of at least 4 months, whose working parents do not have a car.We have been able to provide monthly rail passes to each parent so that they are free to visit whenever they have time. We have also been able to use the back-up child care center based at the hospital as a safe and convenient place for the patient’s older sibling (toddler) to stay during hospital visits. TO date we have been able to provide over $500, but anticipate a continued need and benefit. They have repeatedly expressed their gratitude, and have said that there were many times prior to this help that they wished they could visit, but could not afford transportation, or provide reliable care of the sibling.
An immigrant family with two school-aged children affected with a condition requiring total care, who came to MGH seeking any expert care, but without job, housing, insurance, or community. Their entire existence revolved around their children and they were in the hospital at all times, other than when looking for ways to begin a life here. Their children have been in hospital over the past ten days. We have been able to give them $100 to defray meal costs, as the only expense that we currently can assist with.
A toddler aged child hospitalized since September with complications resulting in near total loss of intestines, whose single mother has had difficulty securing shelter housing for herself and an older school-aged sibling, We have been able to help with meals, parking for other family members who can spell the mother as she looks for work and housing, and metro cards for the mother. This has made it much easier to keep the patient from having to be alone in hospital
AND our success stories continue... We were able to help a family with very limited resources, whose family was dependent on public transportation (rail and subway) to get to the hospital to be with their new baby after surgery.
We were able to help a non-English speaking family, whose child had been in both acute care and a rehab hospital for many months following a freak accident, by helping them with transportation to and from the hospital.
We were able to help a single mother live at the hospital with her child for several weeks after recovering from surgery, by helping with all her meals.
We were able to help parents of a beautiful little toddler, who does not have many more months to live, by allowing them to trade off bedside vigil so one or the other could work. Moving their car in and out of the hospital parking lot had created considerable financial strain and we were able to make a difference by helping with their parking expenses.