My daughter, Maddie Taylor, 10, was taken by ambulance to San Joaquin Community Hospital’s emergency room on a recent Sunday morning after she had been complaining of severe stomach pain and had been running a fever off and on for the last three days. When we arrived at the hospital, the paramedics and team of nurses got her into the ER, hooked her up to an IV to relieve her pain and keep her hydrated. The doctor came in and had blood and urine tests done to find out what was going on with her. After a short period of time, the doctor came back and said she needed to have her appendix removed.
Maddie was scheduled to have surgery that same afternoon. She was so brave and said, “If this is causing all my pain, I don’t want it in my body anymore, so I want the surgery to make me feel better.”
Maddie’s dad and I were amazed by how courageous she was — and how well she handled every single situation that she faced that day. We were also very grateful for the kind, and compassionate care Maddie received during her hospital stay.
When Maddie was about to be transported pre-op we noticed that the employee encouraged of transporting her had a badge on her scrub that said: “Need prayer? Just ask me.” My husband said: “That is so cool, what your badge says — do you get asked for prayer a lot?” The transporter said: “No, you are my first one. I have never been asked." This lady was nervous, and the nurse that had been taking care of Maddie in ER said, “I’ll pray.” So we all took each other’s hands as the nurse prayed over Maddie.
My husband and I were very impressed and felt such peace — and knew Maddie was in really good hands. These moments that abruptly put your life on pause are the moments that I can look at and say how precious our lives really are, and remind myself to not take one single day for granted.
During Maddie’s recovery at SJCH she received a quilt handmade by Project Linus, a non profit organization, in which a group of ladies gather together and make quilts. They pray over the quilts while they are making them and in turn donate them to the hospital to give to young babies and children.
Besides the quilt from Project Linus, (we learned there is also a pet therapy program called "Our pet partner program,”) and the number of cheerful, kind hospital staff members who helped Maddie stay in good spirits and to get up and move around after her surgery, Maddie was offered a chance to paint with a volunteer from the Kern Arts Council through the hospital’s ArtCare Program. The program works in partnership with SJCH and the Arts Council of Kern to help bring healing through art and music.
Maddie “jumped” at the chance to paint — and it was an excellent distraction from the pain she was experiencing!
Later that day, we found out that Maddie’s painting was chosen to be in the 2013 SJCH calendar and her painting will be featured for the month of June! All the proceeds of the sale of the calendars go towards the cancer center at the hospital. We were so excited and proud of Maddie!
The wonderful benefits of this program and the other programs SJCH offers has helped us, as a family, to keep our minds focused on the positive while being cooped up in a hospital. We feel very blessed to have had the experience that Maddie and our family had at SJCH. The staff is compassionate, caring, loving, and extremely patient — and tended to Maddie and all of our needs to the best of their ability. We are so grateful for all they did for us on a daily basis.