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Celebrating Mother’s Day at FHC

Happy Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is a milestone for moms everywhere and is typically spent pampering mom with special gifts, dinner out, or just some peace and quiet. But for some, the celebration of Mom’s special day is a different experience. For some, it takes place in a hospital setting.

This Mother’s Day, our Child Life staff honored mothers of our patients with a special day where they could feel appreciated and cared for by those caring for their kids. On our inpatient pediatric rehabilitation units, moms were welcomed for a morning of activities and brunch. Each was presented with a gift bag and artwork created by their child with the help of staff.

One such mom, Danitza Michel, celebrated her very first Mother’s Day this year. Her son Cyrese is a patient at Franciscan Hospital for Children and is one of the dozens of babies who need Pulmonary Rehabilitation before they’re ready to go home.

According to a recent survey, 11.4% of all births in the U.S. were preemies in 2012. Baby Cyrese was one of many premature infants born in the Commonwealth this year. After three weeks of bed rest, Danitza gave birth at just 26 weeks and a couple of days. Just a few short years ago, such prematurity would have given Cyrese little chance for survival, but advances in technology have made recovery and growth a possibility.

Not without challenges, babies like Cyrese are often in and out of the hospital for their first few years of life with complications from prematurity. In his case, he spent time in the NICU before  going home for a brief time, but then was readmitted when an infection began impacting his ability to breathe. While the infection was brought under control, Cyrese was put on a trache and breathing machine. Once on a breathing machine, he couldn’t easily return home and has been a patient a Franciscan. Each day Danitza splits her day doing her work that needs to get done and spending her evening in her son’s hospital room.

Mother's Day photo

Danitza is proud of how feisty and smart Cyrese is.  He’s just getting the hang of sucking on his fingers; he’s full of smiles and recognizes her instantly, “I’m sad that he’s not [home] with me but grateful that I have him at all.  Next Mother’s Day I hope to take photos, eat a meal together, and just live a normal life.  Because he was born so suddenly, I didn’t have the time to prepare.  I’m just now preparing his nursery.”

To the staff at Franciscan Hospital for Children, an unconventional Mother’s Day like the one Danitza spent with us is just one of many and absolutely worthy of celebration.

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