Every so often, a parent will take a moment out from their time at a hospital to drop us a note to let us know how important the Lion’s Den was to them and their family. We certainly never expect to get these notes, but when they do come in, we cherish them with gusto.
Recently we received a very kind note from Megan Looney – the mother of 2-year-old Jonathan – a patient at North Carolina Children’s Hospital. Megan and her husband Jeremy, have three other children, and during Jonathan’s treatments, they made the Lion’s Den their home. With her permission, we share their story this Mother’s Day weekend:
My son Jonathan was inpatient on 5 Childrens at UNC for 5 months. He is in remission for AML Leukemia. After the shock of learning our son had cancer, the next big shock was learning he would need to stay in the hospital for the next 5 months, only going home once a month for a week or so. Our son was about to turn 2 and was, and is, incredibly active. I should mention that he also has Down Syndrome, and he can’t understand that he has to stay in a hospital room, or can’t play on the floor. And he has no interest in lying in bed and watching movies like most of his floor-mates.
What would we have done without the Lions Den?? Usually twice every day, Jonathan played in there. He could crawl on a clean floor and get his wiggles out. He learned to walk in there. Most of his therapy sessions (OT, PT, Speech) were held in there. In the evenings, my husband and three other children would join us in there for dinner. It felt almost normal, because we could sit at the table and eat as a family as Jonathan played at our feet.
There are not sufficient words that can express to you what a God-send the Lion’s Den was to our family. We are so very grateful to you and every person who made that project possible. Having a room like that helped us keep our sanity by giving our son a place to be a kid, and do normal things. It gave us an opportunity to get out of our room when his low counts kept us from going anywhere else. It was priceless when I could lay down on a clean floor and let my child crawl all over me, just like at home.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. Please pass on my thanks to the appropriate people.