Human Exceptionalism

Handprints on a Wall

This is true compassion: The George Mark Children’s House of San Leandro, California (SF Bay Area), is the first freestanding hospice and respite center for children in the country (as hard as that is to believe). This new approach to pediatric end-of-life care has expanded the approaches to cherishing and caring for dying children. From the story in the Tri Valley Herald:

Painted handprints cover the wall of a room as a reminder of the many children who have come here to die. Most of the rooms at George Mark Children’s House, the country’s first freestanding pediatric hospice dedicated to helping children and their families cope with untimely death, have murals. But this mural is special because the kids have done it themselves–imprints left to keep their memories forever alive, even though they had reached the end of their own lives. “It’s a way for us to remember the child,” said Teri Rose, a spokeswoman for George Mark…

One of the reasons George Mark has gained so much recognition while still in its early stages is because of its unique approach to hospice care.

Until now, most terminally ill children have had only two options when it comes to respite care, family therapy or grief support: staying at a hospital or at home.
But George Mark, which models its philosophy after similar facilities in England and Canada, takes end-of-life care to another level by offering a nurturing environment where the children can receive high-quality care while their families are able take a break from the nonstop responsibility of home care. Families are asked to pay what they can, but the rest is covered by private donors. “What we provide for families is that continuum of care that meets them in the middle of the hospital and the home,” Hull said.

More of this, please.

The Latest