The start to Nolan’s Progressive Care stay was pretty frustrating for us.  The day after he went to that floor, I was preoccupied with the thought that he was completely alone when Bekah or I weren’t there with him.  Here he was, almost 2 months old: he couldn’t press a call button when he was in pain…all he could do was cry, and I couldn’t help but think there was no one around to hear him.  God, that made me such a wreck.  It was all I could think about at work that day, I was pretty much useless. 

I continued being the Incredible Sulk for much of the day until I was able to hop in the car and haul down the hospital.  I was like a man possessed: I just wanted to get there and spend every second holding him and loving on him, just to make up for every moment he was alone.  When I got to the hospital, I checked in with his nurse and asked how his day went.  She said, “Oh Mr. Nolan had a very good day: we started this program called the Cuddle Crew today and volunteers held him for hours.”  I wanted to fall over right there.  The stress, the worry, it all left me like air out of a balloon.  Then suddenly I was happy and hopeful again.  I thanked the nurse and went right in to spend time with my little man. 

I can’t express how much thanks we owe to the volunteers on the Cuddle Crew.  They gave their free time to invest in Nolan…and other kids too.  Sadly there are some kids on the Progressive Care floor who have zero parents around…ever.  They’re there alone because there is no one there for them.  And these volunteers make a REAL difference.  I had the peace of mind of knowing someone was there to love on my Nolan…and it meant the world to me.  Thank you, Cuddle Crew, from the bottom of my heart!

And I can’t say enough wonderful things about Levine Children’s Hospital Volunteers as a whole.  I remember one Saturday getting a knock on Nolan’s door: it was a teenage volunteer, who brought a cart of goodies and asked if I needed anything.  She had toothpaste, deodorant, books, candy, snacks, you name it.  All the things to make our stay comfortable.  When you spend a ton of time in the hospital with a sick child, you often forget to take care of yourself too.  That’s where the volunteers come in.  They would come and bring toys for Nolan and were always asking if we needed anything.  They were awesome.  Thank you all!


About Chris Perez

My name is Chris aka HLHS Dad: I’m married with 3 sons. I love coffee and Yankees baseball. Be kind to one another.

Posted on December 1, 2013, in Progressive Care, thankfulness and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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