I am writing in regard to the federal funding that Children's Hospital was supposed to receive so that it could remain open on Bryant Street. I am feeling very angry and betrayed that this promise has been revoked. I am appalled by this uncaring behavior at the expense of our children's health and well-being.
As a parent of a severely disabled child, I care deeply about keeping Children's Hospital on Bryant Street. Our son, William, was born 20 days premature on July 8, 1999. The day he was born, he was intubated. He was on a respirator and given surfactant to help mature his lungs to help him breathe on his own. He was also born with multiple vertebrae open, hydrocephalus and an Arnold Chiari 2 malformation of the brain.
He developed neurogenic bladder and bowel at 9 months old, was diagnosed with severe gastroesophageal reflux disease at 12 months, epilepsy at 18 months and reactive airway disease at 33 months. He is on several medications to help him have as decent a quality of life as possible.
Our son doesn't just see a pediatrician or have an occasional blood test or X-ray done. He has had seven surgeries, with two more pending within the next year. He has seen many doctors since birth, including neurosurgeons, urologists, neurologists, orthopedics, orthotics, pulmonologists and gastroenterologists.
Now I will explain why Children's needs to stay right where it is. This hospital was designed exclusively for children. Not only is this hospital in a safe environment, but the building itself is historical. When I walk through the halls, I think about all of the children who were there before who were so well-taken care of over the past century.
We need Children's to stay on Bryant Street and also be maintained as a state-of-the-art teaching hospital dedicated to our children. I am demanding that federal officials keep their word and give their support. I will be in the fight to keep Children's running for another 100 years.
LYDIA G. TRUESDELL