Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Beads of Courage

I am so excited! The children's hospital in DC has started a Beads of Courage program for cardiac kids (click on the play button on the bottom left). I think the Beads of Courage was originally done for cancer patients. They now have a cardiac program, which I think is great! Each bead represents a procedure, cath, hospital stay, ICU admission, surgery, etc.

So, yesterday our social worker, Kristen, got her all caught up. The beads between the letters of her name (there are six of them) are called Hundred Beads. Each one of those represents 100 beads. Otherwise getting her caught up would deplete the bead supply and take forever to figure out. They have a formula to help - like each four week hospital stay (which has been an ICU stay 99% of the time for Harlie) for a cardiac child earns the child an average of x amount of beads (for sticks, overnight stays, tests, etc.). So, that's how Harlie earned six of them. The white ones with the heart represent open heart surgeries. And there are some really pretty ones there that mean other surgeries. The beads after the smiley face bead are what she's earned since this admission. I wish I could take a better picture so you could see. I think if you click on the photo it gets bigger. The next time we have a photo session with Paige, I'm going to get her to take a good picture of it.

I think it's a great way for people to visualize just how much these kids have to go through on a regular basis.

Well, I'll have more updates soon. Just wanted to share the exciting news!


paige said...

I will be happy to take a shot of the beads. How cool!

Suzanne said...

Our hospital in Toronto did this. It was the bravery beads program. I actually have some cool jewellry for myself that I bought to support the program. Might have to send you some!

Susan said...

That is a neat idea. I may need to check and find out if our Children's Hospital does that. Thanks for posting the picture.

scanding said...

Wow that is cool I wish they would have had something like that around when I was born. I have Spina Bifida and have spent a lot of time with surgeries and hospital stays as well. That is a neat way to keep up with everything. I hope that everything goes well for Harlie. She is prescious.