I have teamed up with Fairy Non-Bio who will be donating to LauraLynn Children’s Hospice from every pack of Fairy Non-Bio Pods and Fairy Non-Bio Fabric Softener sold between now and July 12th. Fairy Non-Bio have committed to make a minimum donation of €25,000 to LauraLynn later this summer.
As you walk in the door of LauraLynn children’s hospice you are greeted by an incredibly warm and loving energy. As I turned to my right there was a quote written on the blackboard:
“Everyone wants happiness, no one wants pain
But you can’t have a rainbow, without a little rain.”
The quote made me smile. In fact all the quotes throughout the hospice made me smile because they are loving, encouraging and meaningful. As I walked over to read Lynn’s poem (read it here) at the entrance it was a sharp reminder of how precious life is. I first visited LauraLynn five years ago not long after it had opened so this was my second time to read that poem as I entered. But this time reading that poem felt different. I felt every word of Lynn’s dreams and thought to myself what a beautiful soul.
Lynn’s poem and The Story of LauraLynn at the entrance
I believe in energy and I believe we are all connected even after we are gone. I realized right there and then why the energy of LauraLynn was so special. It is because you are met with the energy of these two beautiful souls Laura and Lynn as you enter the door.
A PLACE OF HOPE
LauraLynn was created from a place of love and hope and that shows in every aspect of its care. At LauraLynn they look after the whole family including grandparents and siblings. They recognize than when a child is sick it affects everyone so their focus is keeping people connected and tending to their individual needs, which is really beautiful.
As you walk in on the right there is a therapy room, which is a safe place that children can come to and talk in confidence about their feelings and what they are going through personally. Siblings of bereaved families can also come here and avail of therapy, which is important too.
LauraLynn provides palliative care and support for children with life-limiting conditions and their families. There are eight beds and there is always and emergency bed kept free. The rooms are beautiful and the Head of Care, Bevan Ritchie, explained to me that they try and make it a home away from home. Their aim is to make the children and their families as comfortable as possible.
FULL HOLISTIC CARE
Full holistic care for the children is really important so the bathroom so the bathroom is a multi-sensory bathroom where music can be played and the lights change colour while the child basks in their bubble bath.. This is important as a lot of the children are non-verbal and bringing in the sensory aspect helps to calm them and creates a connection and delivers stimulation to the different senses.
There is also a dedicated sensory room where there is a waterbed and for children with physical disabilities the movement of waterbed on their bodies can offer great relief.
There are rooms upstairs where families can stay over with full facilities like a kitchen and a TV room. In one of the children’s bedrooms downstairs there is an adjacent room where parents can sleep. The headboard has outlets for oxygen and medical equipment so if a child is very ill or near the end of their little life parents can get into bed with the child for a cuddle. This removes the clinical hospital feel and allows for memories to be made and quality time to be spent together. This really had an impact on me as my favourite time of the day is getting into bed to cuddle James.
THE BUTTERFLY SUITE
This was the most difficult part of my visit as I thought of all the parents who have said goodbye to their little angels. ‘The Butterfly Suite’ was created as a special place for families to be near to their children after they have passed away. Butterfly’s have always been a strong symbol of change and transformation to me and even when I have lost people close to me in my own life I always imagine them being transformed into beautiful energy. The physical part of them is gone but their energy and the memories last forever.
LauraLynn provide psychological, social, spiritual and bereavement support for the entire family during this difficult time. Their end of life care also ensures maximum physical comfort for your child through the management of pain and other symptoms that they may have.
Overall I left LauraLynn with a warm heart full of hope. The community and support parents and children get from a dedicated staff and support team is truly incredible.
We all see the world through our personal eyes and our view of the world is shaped from our experiences. Five years ago on my first visit I was very much still adjusting to life back in Ireland as a single mum. Personally I was struggling greatly and my visit to LauraLynn filled me with love and hope. On this visit I saw so much more. I saw a center that treats everyone as an individual where everyone gets seen as himself or herself and that’s rare. The holistic care ensures that all aspects of a person are treated and that each child’s life is lived to the full no matter what their condition.