A hospital can be a scary place, especially for kids. Child Life specialists at St. Luke’s help minimize the fear, anxiety, stress, and pain of hospitalization and clinic treatments for young patients. D’Andre, a 17 year-old who has been coming to the Children’s Hospital since he was a toddler, has had more than 60 surgeries to remove dangerous nodes that constantly grow on his vocal chords, and could spread to his lungs if not treated.
“Child Life was the best thing that ever happened to us,” says his grandmother, Lynn. “D’Andre was scared and didn’t know what was happening to him. It was horrifying to him for a long time.” But over the years he formed a tight bond with his Child Life specialist, Amy, who slowly and patiently built a foundation of trust. “He grew and eventually transitioned to not being scared,” Lynn says, “but it wasn’t that long ago.”
Today D’Andre is a Kuna High School graduate who played on the football team and loves to ride dirt bikes. His surgeries are getting less frequent, giving him—and those who love him—hope that he’s growing out of the condition. He’s older now and can face the fear and pain like the brave young man he’s becoming, but he still relies on Child Life for friendship and support.