Child Life made an immediate impact into Kinsley’s surgical journey. After being diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at age 1 and later Epilepsy, Kinsley began to have extremely frequent seizures. After meeting with the wonderful neurological team at UCLA who provided all the information, we needed to make the best decision we could, we decided the best option was to have a Hemispherectomy. This started with testing for brain surgery, which was scheduled as soon as it could be, right before Christmas! Child Life was there for us and the other kids, providing toys and gifts to make it feel like Christmas even in the hospital. This made our stay so much easier during a time where a lot of stress can be added to an already stressful situation. We knew at that moment we were in the right place.
Next was the actual surgical procedure to be done on February 23rd, 2018. That morning was the most intense moment of our lives. We were so anxious, worried, hopeful and scared all at the same time. As they prepped to go into surgery, a Child Life Specialist named Alisha came with options to keep Kinsley at ease. Different smells to put in the mask, bubbles to look at, stickers to play with and an Ipad to watch some last second Barney. It was this level of detail put into making Kinsley’s experience enjoyable that really helped us be as calm as possible. After what felt like the longest day ever, Kinsley was out of surgery and we were up in ICU for recovery. Child Life was there for Kinsley, since she couldn’t leave the room. They brought toys, books and when Kinsley could go out into the halls, they brought up a little wagon for her to roll around in. That ended up being her main mode of transportation during her stay at UCLA. While we were there, Child Life provided a full make over for the Moms, which was much needed after a month in the hospital. We ended up having an extended stay due to things out of anyone’s control but again, Child Life was there to make it enjoyable for Kinsley. They provided a room make over with Once Upon a Room, who redid the enter room in unicorn with amazingly soft blankets she will not sleep without even till today and decorations to make it feel like home. Roughly a week later, Kinsley’s 4th birthday was arriving. Child Life was there to once again decorate the room and provide birthday gifts to make it an extremely memorable 4th. Once Kinsley was clear to go to the playroom and move around more, Child Life had events on the weeks and would allow our family and friends to go and attend with her. She loved playing basketball on the outside terrace, finger painting on the paper and all over Dads shirt and riding in the little cars chasing everyone. Throughout any bump in the road or break through, Child Life was there. Alisha took the time to come and check on Kinsley often and also took time to talk to us to help relieve stress while making us feel so at ease and welcomed. The doctors, nursing staff and Child Life were all so great to our family. We will forever be thankful to Alisha and the Child Life team.