When starting our look good, feel good project I thought about making bright spots in the lives of patients and parents during their stay at Cincinnati Children’s. I thought about making little kids smile and having their parents feel good that they were looking at their child in something bright and fun. I thought they would take these gowns home when they were discharged, as a reminder of how hard they fought during this challenging time in their lives.
I didn’t think about if they didn’t make it home.
My co-worker has a family member who suddenly became extremely sick and ended up in the ICU of Cincinnati Children’s. Her name was Charlotte. Charlotte was an energetic, happy, wholesome and healthy 7 year old until the flu hit her hard and landed her in the ICU with multiple complications. The first several days (and even into weeks) the doctors weren’t sure if she would be able to recover.
Charlotte fought for 7 and a half weeks and made her family so proud. She was awake, she was trying to talk and she was rebounding. Although the outcome of her lungs was still being determined – the rest of her body was surprising the doctors each day. Her family saw her personality back, they saw her sassiness back, and they were overjoyed at the love they thought was almost taken from them.
Thinking of what I could do to help this family I had never met, I thought about what made ME feel good (as a parent AND as a patient) during my time at Cincinnati Children’s. I immediately thought back to the hospital gowns we had made and that is what jumpstarted this whole Look Good, Feel Good movement. We sprung into action and Miss Charlotte was our first recipient of gowns.
It is with a very heavy heart that I tell you Miss Charlotte passed away over the weekend after a 7 and a half week battle. She leaves behind her mom, dad, little brother and many family members and friends that loved this little girl more than words can express.
Miss Charlotte is an example to us all. She fought so hard. She did her best. She brought so much joy to her family and will be remembered by so many – even people she never physically met.
And our logo just got new meaning behind it. The 3 pink hearts are in the shape of a “C”. Moving forward, we will have a “C” stitched into each one of our donated hospital gowns as a way to remember the little girl who jumpstarted this cause for us.
May we all be as courageous, strong, and sassy as Miss Charlotte.
Thoughts and prayers for her family.