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The Arenas Family
Out of tragedy, an inspiration
You know that boy who can't still, plays hard, has a heart of gold, untamed hair, and a smile that melts your heart? That was Ty. His love of life and people was challenged when he was 7 years old. A series of strokes damaged 3/4th's of his cerebellum and paralyzed the left side of his body.
Ty spent a summer in the PCH intensive care unit. It looked much different in the 90s than it does now. Think less color, more scary tools out in the open, and few family friendly spaces.
I watched Ty learn to walk, talk, and be all-boy again with the determination and strength of someone beyond his years. Most importantly, he smiled and laughed along the way only like Ty could. I was inspired!
A sister's voice results in change
I felt invisible when I visited Ty in the hospital. The nurses and doctor's didn't seem to notice me. This was hard for me because I was Ty's big sister and I wanted to be a part of helping him get better. I was curious about everything. What are doing with that needle? Is he going to get better? Why are using such big words we don't understand? Why are you calling us dad, mom, brother and sister?
One day, I had had enough of feeling invisible. I simply wrote on the board in Ty's room:
My dad's name is Bob.
My mom's name is Nell.
My brother's name is Todd.
And my name is Tiffany.
We are here to help.
From that day on, Ty's nurses and doctor's called us by our names and understood that we were an important part of helping Ty get better. That's family centered care.
While the hospital has come a long way since the 1990s when my brother was sick, it is important to make sure that the principle of its foundation, family centered care, continues to be supported.
Family centered care makes a difference in helping a child get better. It is this reason that I give $500 annually to PCH. It is also the reason why I raise $500 annually. Help me reach my goal and impact thousands of families lives by making a donation today.
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