If regular hospitals are something of a wonder, than specialized hospitals are something of a phenomenon. Having now experienced both – and at the same time – I have been amazed at what each is able to accomplish. The hospital in any community in the country is set up the same (outside of a rare specialty): be able to deal well with anything that walks through the front doors. From birth to death, from sick to injured; nothing can come through that they cannot at least start to treat for any age.
The clear thing that separates a hospital from a specialty hospital is of course the specialty, and in our case it’s a children’s specialty. It’s a unique place that has a unique attitude all to it’s own; carried out through every employee and through all the walls. I suppose that when a building is engineered and a staff hired with a priority and attitude in mind, special things can happen.
The other piece to the experience here as been the volunteers, both in the hospital and out in the city. The folks here are amazing and very giving of their time and energy. We have met countless folks that come on weekends, evenings, weekdays, or whenever to give a little of their lives. The outside folks consist of anyone in the community that gives to the hospital via monetary or other donations: Santa came to visit Liam’s room the other day with a gift in hand (a firefighter build-a-bear, go figure). We had the opportunity to go ‘shopping’ for Christmas gifts at a make-shift toy mall here in the hospital – and at no cost to us. We had a wonderful Christmas day lunch provided by a community interfaith ministry. We had some coffee/tea provided by the Denver-area Harley dealers. The list goes on and on, and we’ve only experienced the tip of the generosity. I can definitively tell you that when you make a donation to a specialty hospital, it gets there and goes to the patients and their families. It’s worth doing because it means so much to the folks that are in the hospital.