Appropriate Gift/Thoughts

  1. A girl from another forum I go to has an awful situation. She just found out that her 10 month old child has a spinal cord tumor. They live about an hour from here, and I've never really talked to her online, just knew she lived nearby. They're up here (we have a children's hospital so he can have chemo) right now, mom and dad are staying at the Ronald McDonald House across from the hospital.
    I would like to do something for them. They're at an awful scary moment in their lives, in a town they're probably not familiar with, away from what is the norm.
    I send her an email telling her who I was, and whatever she needed to just let me know. I would like to bring them lunch or something one day. I am sure they won't want to leave the hospital or go far- I wouldn't want to leave my child at a time like this.
    What's an appropriate thing to offer? I think I am also going to bring the boy a toy, but need to make sure it's child safe and everything. What to do?
    ETA- I know no balloons or such. He's not in an ICU, but is getting chemo. That means nothing fresh and stuff, righ? Age appropriate toys are still good though, right?
    PS- Prayers for this boy and his family would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edit by Aneroo on Nov 14, '05
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   truern
    That's so sweet of you

    Maybe a book or magazines?? You know how it can be sitting around the hospital....I'm sure he naps often.

    How about some nice thick slipper socks?? I saw moms at UNC Childrens Hosp wearing those when they'd been on the floor all day with their child. Anything to get a little more comfortable.
  4. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from Aneroo
    A girl from another forum I go to has an awful situation. She just found out that her 10 month old child has a spinal cord tumor. They live about an hour from here, and I've never really talked to her online, just knew she lived nearby. They're up here (we have a children's hospital so he can have chemo) right now, mom and dad are staying at the Ronald McDonald House across from the hospital.
    I would like to do something for them. They're at an awful scary moment in their lives, in a town they're probably not familiar with, away from what is the norm.
    I send her an email telling her who I was, and whatever she needed to just let me know. I would like to bring them lunch or something one day. I am sure they won't want to leave the hospital or go far- I wouldn't want to leave my child at a time like this.
    What's an appropriate thing to offer? I think I am also going to bring the boy a toy, but need to make sure it's child safe and everything. What to do?
    ETA- I know no balloons or such. He's not in an ICU, but is getting chemo. That means nothing fresh and stuff, righ? Age appropriate toys are still good though, right?
    PS- Prayers for this boy and his family would be greatly appreciated.
    Easy to clean toys mught be something to consider. I'm not sure if stuffed animals would be a good idea, i'd ask about that.

    Bringing them lunch (or even a hot dinner) would be good.

    If you got to know these people better someday, and felt comfortable (you know, safety first on the internet), i bet they would appreciate at home cooked dinner at the table. Plus, i know the RMH is designed for people in this kind of situation, but, not meaning to sound dismissive, maybe they would like to be somewhere that's "home-like normal" for a couple of hours?
  5. by   SmilingBluEyes
    anyway you can offer the parents some respite, like a homecooked meal or something? or your TIME? those are invaluable gifts....You are so thoughtful, Aneroo......I am sure anything you do will be more than enough. And of course, my thoughts will be with them.
  6. by   dianah
    The peds chemo unit might be able to give suggestions for what to bring in that would be "safe."

    Don't know if they'd appreciate some get-away time . .. being in an unfamiliar environment (only going to the hospital and then to the RMH, they may get a form of island fever) and all . . . a map to the movie theater, w/tickets for them, or info about a museum or Barnes and Noble or other attraction in the area . . . just for a short break, doesn't have to be a day-long trip. Or maybe a calling card, to lighten the burden of long-distance calls to relatives.

    Very thoughtful, Aneroo. Bless them, and I hope the treatments are effective for their little one.
  7. by   nursemary9
    Hi

    That is just so sweet of you.
    I will keep the family & you in my prayers!!

    Maybe a nice age-appropriate book so Mom & dad can read to him. You have to be kind of careful with toys as, soon, he will probably become neutropenic and possibly thrombocytopenic. The slippers someone else suggested also sound good--or soft booties. or a nice soft lap robe for when mom or Dad keeps him on there lap!!

    Mary Ann
  8. by   Jessy_RN
    Wow, the best gift is you caring enough to want to help......You rock!

    Anyhow, definitely home cooked meals or even a gift card to a nearby eatery. Preferably a "not so expensive" place

    God bless

    Maybe some children books to read to the child and 1 special toy.
  9. by   kitty29
    Even gift certificates for local areas to eat would be nice...and if you have their address you could pop something in their freezer for once they are home.
  10. by   Jessy_RN
    If they are spending Thanksgiving there, then maybe invite them to dinner or bring them something nice
  11. by   Aneroo
    Quote from Future_RN_Jess
    If they are spending Thanksgiving there, then maybe invite them to dinner or bring them something nice
    Maybe I could spend Thanksgiving with them at the hospital? I have to work all day.

    Thanks for the adivce guys. You all thought of some stuff I couldn't think of. Of course, this means I get to go shopping now, and it's for a good reason, so even more reason to enjoy it! Thanks a ton! -Andrea
  12. by   DDRN4me
    Aneroo, if they are in Boston, there is a bertuccis , i think, right near the hospital ..a gc there or to the Harvard Coop which is across the street.
    i think the book idea for her child is great ,also a fleece blanket is a nice "touch of home" for someone in the hosp.
    please let us know how he does..prayers going out! Mary
  13. by   rn/writer
    One of my grandsons has spina bifida and I've spent many nighttime hours with him so my daughter could go home to see her other kids. We all live within 45 min. of our Children's Hospital so we don't stay at the RMH. Still, you can go a little stir crazy. Here are a few more ideas.

    Offer to run errands for them--pick up items from a grocery store or pharmacy, send mail, drop off dry cleaning, or whatever else might be helpful.

    I loved the idea of a phone card.

    Give them some disposable cameras to take pictures of their little one on good days, or take pictures of staff members they draw close to or friends they make while they are in Boston. Offer to get them developed.

    Give them a couple of nice notebook and some pens. One notebook could be to keep track of practical details--med protocol, schedules, docs' names, questions, phone numbers, etc. The other could be to keep a journal of this precarious time in their lives and keep track of the personal side of things.

    Take them a basket of treats--fresh fruit, specialty cookies, hot chocolate or coffee mixes, canned soup, nuts, things they aren't likely to run across in the hospital setting.

    How about an inexpensive tape recorder and music. Soothing music, silly songs, books on tape for both parents and kid. If the risk of infection isn't too great, perhaps you could get tapes from your library and trade those for new ones when they've listened to them all. Blank tapes might be good, too. The could record messages to the folks back home and have loved ones send tapes to them so their little guy can hear some familiar voices. They can also record some stories that their son can listen to when they aren't with him. If they are taking turns at the bedside, he might be comforted by hearing the voice of the absent one.

    Depending on how long they are there, offer to pay for a haircut and give them directions to a local shop.

    Bring some nice shampoo or bath beads. It becomes so important to learn how to relax, but that's something you don't even put on your list when your kid is sick.

    Don't forget to ask directly what they might want. Or mention some of the things the we've come up with and ask which they'd find most helpful.

    It sounds like you'll be able to offer some wonderful encouragement and moral support to this family in need. I will pray for them today.

    You have a good heart.

    BTW, how are you feeling? How close to your delivery date will you work?

    Take care,

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