When my oldest son was just under 12 weeks old, he got a kidney infection and had to be hospitalized. He was admitted to the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario for almost two weeks. During those two weeks, I had to see my baby with an IV in his hands and feet - they had to keep switching it. If that wasn't hard enough, seeing my child get countless numbers of x-rays and catheters was heartbreaking. But the staff at CHEO was amazing - they made our stay tolerable.
At 6 months old, he got another kidney infection, due to a condition he had at birth called hydronephrosis (which he has since outgrown and is 100% okay!) and spent 5 more days in CHEO. He was a little older, but it was just as hard to see him in pain and in the hospital. I have blogged about this before, but for me, words can't describe the experience of seeing your child sick and in the hospital is like. It's a nightmare, to say the very least.
Last year, when my son was 3, his cold turned into a severe case of pneumonia and he spent 14 days in CHEO. During that time, things took a turn for the worse and he needed surgery in his lung to drain fluid. He spent 4 of those days with a chest tube in him. He was hooked up to an IV and an oxygen mask, too. I can honestly say those two weeks were the worst of my entire life, and that experience changed me forever. It was horrible, and something I'll never get over. I don't believe it has made me a stronger person. It has only made me wish even harder that NO child should ever be sick, and that no child should ever be so sick that they never get to go back home.
Every year my family and I donate to CHEO, because this hospital saved our child's life and because I love all children. I am so thankful for this hospital, for the wonderful nurses that took care of my child and helped me, too. I'm thankful for the late night conversations and even some laughter with our favourite nurses. (Hi, Marjorie!) I'm also eternally grateful for the amazing doctors and surgeons who took such good care of my little guy. (Imagine my surprise when I found out the surgeon who would be operating on my son was the father of his classmate at playgroup!)
I can think of no more worthy cause than supporting CHEO. It's the least I can do to show my gratitude and thanks for all they've done for me, and for so many other children. I can assure you if I won the lottery, the first thing I'd do would give a big chunk of money to this children's hospital!
Today, with each comment I receive, I will donate $1 to CHEO. I think it is a fitting time, since this weekend - June 5th and 6th - is the CHEO telethon!
So go ahead, and leave me a comment - your comments mean you're helping this amazing hospital, too!
(*I have a certain number in my head that I'm trying to reach - once I get there, I"ll stop comments on this post.*)
Update: It's just after midnight - so I'm going to say THANK YOU SO MUCH, to each and every one of you - 117 comments in one day - your comments meant the world to me; thank you, thank you, thank you! I'll be presenting CHEO with a cheque next week. xoxo