Tag Archives: Kids Surgery
Today is Mother’s Day. A day when millions of moms wake up and feel grateful for their children, whether they are normally-developing or living with a disability. Yesterday, we shared one mother’s essay, Welcome to Holland, describing the experience of parenting a special needs child. Today, we’re sharing the perspective of a mom whose journey to Holland happened in one terrifying and life-altering instant.
“When my son was born I counted fingers and toes, and was happy to get the all clear from his doctor,” recalls Robbi, mom to 10-year-old Ian. Then, one summer day in 2009, Robbi’s world turned upside down. While walking home from swimming lessons with his older brother, Ian was struck by a car. “My sweet, gentle boy was lying in a hospital bed with a traumatic brain injury, says Robbi. “We were told that he would remain in a vegetative state for the rest of his life. I felt like Alice, falling down the rabbit hole.”
When Ian came to Gillette for rehabilitation, Robbi describes her state of hopelessness beginning to shift. “In my complete darkness, Ian’s nurse, Tiffany, walks in with a huge smile, sits next to me as if we were old friends and begins telling me about Ian’s new schedule which included meals, baths, school and therapy. I truly felt as if someone had turned on a light and opened the door.”
Soon, Ian’s recovery defied expectations. “He quickly learned to swallow, and soon he could talk. He was coming back to me,” says Robbi. Today, she says it would be difficult for a stranger to tell he nearly died from a severe brain injury.
“Ian still struggles with some lingering deficits and needs continued therapy,” recognizes Robbi. “Gillette gave me my son back, and gave me the tools to deal with the new normal that our lives have become.”
Last week, we introduced you to Gillette’s spacious new surgical suite in St. Paul. And this week, we couldn’t resist sharing a sneak-peek inside the beautiful new facility. We are pleased to report that our new facility is already up-and-running for our physicians, nurses, and patient families.
Here is the pre-anesthesia area, where clinical staff prepare patients for their surgeries. The soothing, nature-themed imagery provides a calming environment for families.
A ceiling of sky and clouds greets patients as they make their way from pre-anesthesia to our operating rooms.
The corridor leading to our operating room mimics the nature theme seen earlier in the pre-anesthesia area.
And finally, one of our seven new state-of-the-art operating rooms. The rooms are spacious enough to accommodate the complex procedures – often involving more than one surgeon – that children with disabilities often need.
Thanks again to the Gillette staff, supporters, and families who helped us welcome the new space last week.
Yesterday marked an exciting milestone for everyone here at Gillette: the completion of our expanded surgical suite in our St. Paul hospital. Physicians, nurses, and other surgical staff will begin using the space as early as next week! Employees, supporters, and patient families received a guided tour of the state-of-the-art facility, which includes seven operating rooms, a surgical observation area for training residents and fellows, and spacious areas for both pre- and post-anesthesia care.
We were honored that several current and former members of the Minnesota State Legislature were able to attend our open house and tour. We’re especially grateful to members of our Legislature — without the $10 million that Gillette was granted in the state’s bonding bill last year, this much-needed facility wouldn’t exist.
Why was it so crucial that we expand our surgical space? Over the past 10 years, we’ve seen steady increases in demand for surgical services. In fact, the number of surgeries we perform each year has more than doubled since 1999. Advances in technology, and the growth of multi-team, multi-intervention surgeries, have made additional space not just a want, but a true need. With the opening of our new space, we’re equipped to provide growing volumes of kids the best possible surgical care for years to come.