My son Andrew is seven years old, and he was diagnosed with Pneumonia in 2018. We were transported to UCLA Mattel’s Children's Hospital at Santa Monica and that’s where we found the amazing team of doctors and nurses who were knowledgeable about my son's illness. When it was time for Andrew’s first surgery, I was scared and I didn’t know how to tell my seven year old son that he was going into surgery. That’s when we met Tracy from the Child Life Program. She knocked on our door and introduced herself and the program that makes it fun for the kids while they stay at the hospital. Tracy knew how to tell my son that he was going into surgery without showing emotions that it would be scary for him. After she had a talk with Andrew, he wasn’t even scared.
As the days past by at the hospital, Andrew was getting less active and didn’t want to leave his room. But our Child Life Specialists would come to our room every morning and evening to get Andrew out of bed, and they would take him on walks and bring him decorations for his room. Andrew’s favorite walk was to the game room because that’s where he got to play video games and make arts and crafts. Tracy was not only there for Andrew, but was there for me and my mom. She would sit down with us and just talk to us about how were feeling about the whole situation with my son. She just wanted us to know that we weren't alone, and she was there for us. Tracy did everything that she could do to help us, and I am so thankful for Child Life Program.
The Diaz family.