I can hear your child crying as I console mine to sleep; I can hear you crying at night while holding back my own tears. I can hear you scream for help as your child’s condition gets worse; I can hear you thanking the doctors for everything they are doing. I can hear you argue with your spouse as your pain is causing you unbearable stress. I heard everything around me while in this place I never wanted to be and when I left my heart was still broken for everyone of you.
Every parent who has ended up in the hospital with their child knows that when you leave others are left behind and more will arrive every day. The families are in a place they never expected to be, seeing their child go through things that no parent wants to see. Ever since I left the hospital back in 2009, when I lost my son Patryk, I have thought of all those parents, each and every one of you, pondering about how could I help in the slightest way. It wasn’t until I ended up back in the hospital almost six years later that I found the strength to stand in these halls again.
It was last April when I was rushed in an ambulance to Central DuPage Hospital with my son Maxwell. He began having intense full tonic clonic seizures that were not subsiding. Previous to that day he was healthy and never had a seizure in his two and a half years of life. When I arrived through the doors of this hospital, I knew it was where he needed to be even though it was an impossible place to be for myself. I wanted to go back when I was ready, instead I was thrown back here to struggle through one of the hardest times of mine and my sons life. The insufferable pain of watching my son struggle without being able to help was extremely difficult. My behavior during the first few days wasn’t someone I wanted to be; I just couldn’t handle it all. My husband struggled too as we were in the very same room we lost our first son Patryk. I think the most important part was that we did pull it together so that we were there for Maxwell. I need to be more forgiving that I am not super human, and I’m amazed I even had the strength to stand at all. I think that is what happens here; you feel such intense love for your child that you find strength you never knew you had.
How could I help the families that are there right now? Over the years I pondered this over and over again, all while being completely mindful of exactly what could be done. Now how to execute the idea? These families show up with nothing. Most do not have time to prepare or grab necessities while rushing out the door during their emergency. In most of our trips back and forth between the hospital we didn’t even have time to search for bags in the closets and instead used grocery paper bags. So, I decided the first way to help the families would be to provide a bag. A close girlfriend of mine happens to be a consultant at Thirty One, the past couple years she has done fundraising for thermal bags that were delivered to Central DuPage Hospital and other surrounding hospital NICU families. Not only have I partnered with her on this project so she can show me the ropes, but she also is so kindly giving up her commissions to help fill the bags. Now on to the next step, filling the bags.
Each PEDS Family Care Bag will be filled with very specific items, but the quantity of things is not as important as the quality. These families do not need extra things to carry with their hands so full already. So, I will be contacting a few specific companies in hopes they can donate something to each bag. This will be in addition to your cash donations that will also be used to fill the bags in hopes to provide these families with a small amount of help. Project Mindful Mama is a dream come true; I hope we can help families while being mindful of their needs and the hardships they are currently facing. This is my first year executing the project, and I’m so honored to have this opportunity to help. Each and every donation that comes through means the world to me and will help the families more than you can imagine. I’m asking anyone who would like to donate to sponsor a bag, each bag costing $35.00. Once I reach my goal of fifty bags, the rest of the money that comes through will go toward filling each bag with a specific list of items. Each bag will cost roughly $35.00 to fill; therefore, the more money we raise the more items we can cross off that list. Please help make this first ever Project Mindful Mama one to remember, let’s cross every item off the list and fill those bags!
The finale step will be delivering the bags along with this letter to each family, I’m excited and nervous for this step. It will be a very personal and emotional time for myself, but I will conceal that the best I can to be strong for the families. To those families reading this now… my heart is always here with each and everyone of you. I hope your stay is short and your child leaves smiling with their health and hope. Remember as you hear each other’s child cry, the nurses run in and out of your rooms, and see each other passing in the hall; you’re not alone. I know that you may be feeling more alone than ever before, but there are so many praying for you and your family; even the families surrounding you right now. Stay strong, despite the pain, just hold on.
With all my love, Whisking Mama