This weekend was the BC Children's Hospital Miracle Weekend. It's the weekend Children's does it's telethon raising money for new equipment and research. Shane and I were doing a hotdog sale for the Calvin Zachary Mayer Memorial Fund (which will benefit BC Children's Hospital) on Saturday and when we got home I turned on the television and was instantly glued to the set. I couldn't believe the emotions that flooded through me as the cameras toured the hospital and I started to see familiar faces. When they went into the ICU, where Calvin spent most of his life, I felt like weeping. Then, as I sat watching, Calvin's cardiologist, Dr. S., spoke of caregiver grief. He spoke of having witnessed situations no one should have to see. A father saying good-bye to his son, a family having to let their baby go, and instantly I knew he was talking about us. Shane and I started crying. We have such a connection with our son's doctors, so much so that Dr. S has called us several times just to chat and see how we are doing. He's told us that we made a huge impression on him, that our family was one that he wouldn't easily forget and it was him who connected me with the philanthropy department when we wanted to seek permission to use the Children's Hospital logo in our fundraising efforts. I can't tell you how much this weekend has renewed my love for Children's Hospital. It's also been on my mind alot lately because of what the ICU did for us when Calvin died. There was the hollow heart ceremony that we had with spiritual care when Calvin lay dying in our arms. A minister who works for the hospital said a special prayer for us and gave us the heart within a heart. It was a ceramic heart within a larger ceramic heart. The inside piece comes out and was tied around Calvin's wrist. The outside heart is worn alternately by Shane and myself, a symbol of the piece of our heart Calvin took with him when he died. Our son was buried with his heart still around his little wrist, a symbol of our eternal love for him. The ICU also took hand and foot casts from Calvin and the day after he died, the hospital social worker Sharon, came up to our room and presented us with this beautiful box with Calvin's hand and feet in plaster. They are gifts that mean everything to us. Although I am not naive enough to believe that the heart ceremony and the casts were done just for us, the comfort they brought our family when our son passed was tremendous. It's things like this that endear Children's Hospital to us. The fact that when asked about situations that affect them, our doctor talks about us. The comfort and care we were given when Calvin died, not just during our hospital stay but in the months following his death. Children's raised 15.3 million dollars this weekend. I wish I could give them 15 million dollars more.
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