Patients, families enjoy afternoon of pampering thanks to generous volunteers

PFAC3.jpgEdmundo Zevallos knows all too well the stress of having a child in the newborn intensive care unit.

In 1993, his premature baby spent five months recovering in the NICU at Tucson Medical Center. His son is now a healthy 25-year-old, but back then, Zevallos remembers around-the-clock vigilance, being tethered to a pager that would summon him to the hospital from work in an emergency, and the struggles with managing heart monitors and other medical equipment when his baby finally came home.

Zevallos, who serves on the Patient and Family Advisory Council at TMC, helped coordinate Family Day, designed to support the parents of children recovering in the hospital.

PFAC1.jpg“It is important that the family or support unit of the patient take care of their own well-being. The patient will need them to be strong and healthy for the journey ahead. They shouldn’t try to tough it out. We want them to know we understand and support them, and that we are here to help them,” Zevallos said.

The event served about 20 parents, relatives and patients of TMC for Children and TMC for Women. Each visitor received a bag filled with small gifts, discount coupons and a fresh flower.

The day wouldn’t have been possible without the support of about a dozen different vendors.

“It’s just a nice way to give back,” said Andrea McCully, from ANR Massage, who provided massage services to patients. “When you learn more about what other people experience, it’s really gets you to think outside of yourself.”

Those sentiments were echoed by Kashmir Crossley, of Salon Kashmir, and Casey Reminder, of Z.E.N. Studio. Fellow stylist Silviya Warren said she used to paint the fingernails of a 6-year-old who was struggling with cancer treatment. “She made me fall in love with her,” she said. “She survived, but I know how hard it can be on families. I thought of her and said of course I would help.”

PFAC2Lory Sullivan, a beauty consultant with Mary Kay, remembers how it felt when her granddaughter, now a healthy 15-year-old, was born prematurely. “I know parents have to be stressed and be scared when their child is ill, so if I can help them take that moment to relax and take a deep breath, I’m grateful for that opportunity.”

Amy Clemans, an acupuncturist with Mountain Waters Acupuncture, who shared a Chinese body work practice, said as a parent of a special needs child, she wanted to give back. “I know how important it is for parents to do self-care,” she said.

Also in attendance were Mary and Jim Harvey from BioPhotonic Therapy Solutions, Lisa Westerwick from Serenity Holistic Touch and Kim Adair from Women Under the Sun. The Basket Butler provided gift baskets, the Flower Shop on 4th Avenue provided flowers, and Epic Café, in conjunction with Women Under the Sun, donated the pastries.

The Patient and Family Advisory Council shares information with TMC on how to better serve parents and families by creating a family-centered environment.

Some of their projects have included assisting in the layout of pediatric areas of the hospital, creating child-friendly words for specialty procedures and providing input on the KidSpeak mobile app that helps children become more familiar with the hospital and medical terminology through virtual tours and a digital whiteboard. Click to learn more about serving on the Patient and Family Advisory Council.

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Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461
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