May 13, 2015

by Robyn Bryant

May 13, 2015


Earlier this spring I attended a lunch time learning at Girls Preparatory School presented by my friend, Lela Moore. She gave writing tips, I took notes...guess what, I have the hardest time following those wonderful tips. When I write it’s all heart, so I have a hard time making it “good writing.” 

Yesterday’s event at T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital is constantly in my thoughts. When I wrote my blog post yesterday, I was extremely in articulate....Today, I was discussing the event with a friend....The first thing that stands out in my mind was Gregg Gentry’s prayer, he is part of the Erlanger Health System executive team and this prayer was not rehearsed or practiced, it was from the heart....a true prayer of dedication for an area that will be focused on healing very sick children. Then, Dr. Bhakta, the senior Pediatric Hematologist/Ocologist, we have had many deep converstations since Christian died, but I have never heard him speak and all I can say is WOW....he told us that when he started the cure rate for childhood cancer was 30%, it’s now 80%...higher precentage for some cancers, he started by saying that all of this is just WRONG...then he explained some about the awful treatment our children endure and how they are so much stronger than adults....he ended saying he loves his job and the patients are his heros. I need to add that well over 90% of the pediatric oncology patients in our region are treated at T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital.  Then, Dr. Jennifer Keates was introduced and she started talking....I have been with her during some really awful times, I have never seen her on the verge of tears and yesterday was a first. As she started, she tells this story of a chain...there is a paper chain present...this is literally so powerful, I am standing with another Mother, Heather Charre,  that has lost her son in the last few months...Dr. Keates ask her to grasp the first link of the chain and then me, she then invites Turner Fordham, a survior, to come a take hold of the chain, there were other Mother’s present, Jan Vance, Mindy Sanders, Kathy Youngblood, she talked about how the whole family is affected and invited Bailey to grasp the chain...she included the other pediatric oncologist and the nurses, and Ashley Zani, our oncolgy child life specialist, to be part of the chain...the chain of care for a pediatric hematology/oncolgy patient involves so many links and Dr. Keates did an amazing job expressing that yesterday....I think everyone present was impacted by “The Chain” and how Dr. Keates communicated all the pieces of the chain. 

I cannot wait for the event tomorrow evening, the Reveal of the new Children’s Hospital...I am finally ready to get on board! The Christian Bryant Foundation will only support the Children’s side of Erlanger and it is more separate than most people realize. We have the most amazing nurses, doctors and ancillary staff at T.C. Thompson....they also have the technology, but the building is an antique! Exciting things are happening, I hope you all will be a part of building a new Children’s Hospital for our region! 

Love Deeply, Forgive Often and Find your Blessings, Robyn