Sunday, January 9, 2011

Paris, Tennessee Quilt Guild at LeBonheur Children's Hospital

On December 8, 2010 members of our guild went to LeBonheur Children's Hospital to deliver the 105 cuddle quilts that was made by fellow members.  We want to thank Pat, Jean, and Gayle for delivering the quilts and writing this informative report about their trip.

We were given a tour of the public areas of new hospital and unfortunately weren't able to go to patient areas as we had in the past.  The new facility is beautiful and they have really taken and put in place the needs of the families as well as the patients. 162 patients were moved  from the old hospital over the weekend.  The new hospital has been increased in size in all areas and now has the capability for 268 with each child having a private room with a window.  Each room now has space for a family member to sleep in the room and also has shower facilities.  The emergency room has been increased to handle twice as many as before and has been split.... Many Memphis area families use LeBonheur as their "regular doctor" for their children's minor issues like colds, flues, etc.  So now the emergency room is set up to handle those separately from the critical care arrivals.  Last year the emergency room handled  over 75,000 patients, an increase of 5,000 due to H1N1.  She gave us figures on Ambulance runs as well as helicopter too, but those figures escape me right now.  St. Jude's made a 7 million dollar MRI/surgical room donation to LeBonhuer.  LeBonheur does 95% of St. Jude's surgeries.

Security is a big concern and that has been addressed within the new hospital in several ways, but yet doesn't feel jail like at all. 

LeBonheur now has a facility for out of town family members - much like Ronald McDonald and Target House which are for St. Jude patients only.   FEDEX Corp has sponsored the building of FEDEX House which is right across Poplar and initially will have the space to house 24 families.  Eventually it will be increased to 48.  The Corp as well as the employees have donated to outfit the house,  Williams Sonoma donated all Kitchen equipment.  Fred Smith and his wife Diane (CEO of FEDEX) and Alan Graf and his wife  (Executive VP of FEDEX) were major contributors.  Each floor has a kitchen facility and each set of rooms has a small kitchenette.

Art plays an important role in the healing process and many artists have donated their time and art to both facilities.  We were very impressed with the entirety. 

Our quilts were graciously accepted and we were told would be given out soon - not necessarily given out at Christmas.  The gal that met us and took us around was not with the Child Life Services department, but rather more of the "Public Relations area."  When asked if there were any specific needs we could meet with the quilts she indicated she would get with Thomas' group and let us know.  She said that with the 162 current patients being of all ages, any and all quilts would are needed.  Asked specifically about the fleece pieces, she wasn't aware that those were or had been used, but would check on the need and let us know.

We were reminded that LeBonheur was started by a group much like our guild, a  ladies sewing group.  To honor that, the LeBonheur logo has been changed to incorporate a large red heart with the look of stitches around the edge.

Again this year, we felt that our efforts were very much appreciated and needed.  We would hope to see this project continue.
An area of one of the waiting rooms - the wall was a mosaic of "things" and along the top of the wall it would say "10 fish, 11 cars, 3 bugs, etc"  so it was like an I spy wall and the kids spent time trying to find the number of things written.

This is the view of Pat's trunk with 105 cuddle quilts loaded in it - there was not room for anything else!

This is the wind garden outside one of the windows - very neat, beautiful metal artwork.
They did a study to see which area would get the most wind and be most useful for this.

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