April 11, 2020

#Stayinghomefor Saskatchewan kids during COVID-19

Looking for another reason to stay home?

By making the simple decision to stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic, you could be making all the difference in a child’s life who faces each day with a compromised immune system.

Many immunocompromised children are already facing multiple threats to their health, including heart conditions, cancer treatments, life-threatening illnesses, and medically complex care. Now, more than ever, it’s important to protect these children who are more vulnerable due to their weaker immune systems by staying home and practicing physical distancing.

Like many other kids with chronic health conditions, nine-year-old Elara and her family from Saskatoon have been staying home for the past month to help keep her safe.

“As a family, we have spent a lot of time in intensive care units. ICUs are really difficult places to be for extended periods of time because you end up with a new perspective as you spend that amount of time with the sickest children in the province,” said Tara, Elara’s mom. “We’ve learned through our experiences how serious respiratory infections can be for the few. Our daughter is one of the few that you are hearing about who is at high risk for serious outcomes from this particular virus.”

Elara has complex health care needs, after being born with a rare congenital heart defect. She’s been hospitalized for viral pneumonia numerous times in the past, and regular common cold viruses have also forced her to spend weeks and months in hospital.

“This isn’t unique to just Elara. We have met countless families over the years whose children have underlying conditions that will affect the way their lungs and immune systems function. They are our friends and they are your friends,” Tara said.

Last year, Elara spent 11 days in hospital over Easter due to a common cold virus.  This year, Elara’s family is looking forward to staying home for Easter and staying out of the hospital.

“When this first happened we were all really scared and staying home for that one person that we knew — Elara. Now, we just hope that everyone can stay home to help flatten the curve and protect our extended hospital family who has been there with us,” said Tara.

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals started #stayinghomefor to show how individuals can help protect the most vulnerable kids, as well as to encourage others to share their stories.

Follow along with Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital Foundation’s #stayinghomefor video diaries on our social channels and feel free to share who you are #stayinghomefor on social media.

If you would like to donate to the COVID-19 Hospital Fund to help Saskatchewan kids and families, please click here to make a donation.

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