"It helps kids when they're feeling sad."

April 26, 2016
Topics: Riley Kid Story, Child Life

child life blog blog image
Crescent Wilson, South Bend, with Child Life Specialist Kayla Sadowski

Gifts made by generous friends like you are the reason Riley Hospital for Children can not only treat children’s illnesses and injuries, but also address their emotional and social needs.

Child Life Specialists are Riley’s “comfort experts,” specially trained to help children and families thrive in what can be a stressful environment. Gifts from Riley Children’s Foundation donors make up 75% of the funding for this critically important program.

One of the biggest goals of Child Life is to help normalize the hospital experience, and help kids continue to be kids. In the case of 14-year-old Crescent Wilson from South Bend, reaching that goal took a team of Child Life Specialists and Riley School Program teachers to help stage a makeshift rehearsal for her school production of “Sherlock Holmes.” (Crescent was released in time for the show, and was well-prepared when she performed with her classmates.)

Crescent has spent lots of time at Riley since she was diagnosed with lupus in April 2015. Child Life Specialist Kayla Sadowski helped teach Crescent what it meant to live with lupus. “We talked about exactly what to expect, how to go back to school, how to live a normal life with this big diagnosis,” explains Kayla. “Now, we provide a lot of fun activities and fun stuff to do while she’s in the hospital.”

Crescent sums up what Child Life at Riley means to her like this: “It helps kids when they’re feeling sad so they have something to do, and it takes their minds off being in the hospital.”

On behalf of children like Crescent, we at Riley Children’s Foundation thank every donor who helps support the important services of the Child Life team at Riley.

Did you know? Riley has 24 Certified Child Life Specialists, who impact every inpatient. Around 21,000 outpatients also receive help from Child Life Specialists each year.

Riley Blogger

The Riley Blog is written and/or edited by members of the Riley Children's Foundation Communications Staff.

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