Outside of the private patient rooms, there are a number of gathering places where family members can connect with others experiencing a similar journey. The strong bonds and sense of community these spaces provide can help support parents during their toughest days.
“Friends and family mean well and want to help in every way that they can,” said Chad Farquharson, a member of the Family Advisory Committee, “but other parents with sick kids truly understand your journey. They get the loneliness, the fear, and the need to escape from reality, if only for a short time.”
Families can bond over their shared love of sport while watching a hockey game in the Vancouver Canucks-themed playroom, or quietly talk over tea in the Auxiliary to BC Children’s Hospital Parent Lounge.
Kids also need places to unwind and play. The Teck Acute Care Centre features playrooms and activity rooms where they can hang out and just have fun. The Michael Cuccione Foundation Playroom, for instance, offers space to watch TV, play video games together, or make crafts. The Vancouver Whitecaps FC-themed playroom boasts a ceiling-mounted projector that allows kids to play a motion-activated virtual game of soccer.
Six gardens create healing spaces for kids and families to get some fresh air and relax. With sensational views, the gardens offer a much-needed change of scenery for patients who spend copious time in their rooms.
“It’s so important to have the chance to get outside,” said Analyn Perez, an oncology nurse with BC Children’s Hospital. “It may seem small, but being able to enjoy fresh air is huge in the grand scheme of things.”
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