I welcomed my second child in 2021. In love with my new baby girl, I couldn't wait to take her home and introduce her to her big brother. A few days after we got home from the hospital, she stopping breathing.
It happened so fast, we went from being on cloud nine to our whole world collapsing.
We rushed her to the hospital which started a two month long journey. Within the two month period, we toured 4 different hospitals, had 7 ambulance rides and 3 medivac flights. Many of the transfers were done without much notice and away from family support.
When someone becomes unexpectedly ill, the last thing on your mind is grabbing a toothbrush or a snack. All you think about is getting medical care. Although hospitals have amazing gift shops, it can be challenging to get items for many different reasons. For myself, I was 4 days post surgery and postpartum and couldn't face leaving my new baby alone in a hospital - not even for 20 minutes. I was in a place with no family, no support and hadn't eaten a meal in days. I was thankful to have a nurse who took the time to ask when I had eaten last and snuck me a packaged lunch.
During the two month period, I met many different families in similar situations. I couldn't help but think about what I could do to change this. My daughter received absolutely amazing medical care (and still does) but as a support person and not patient, my physical and mental wellbeing was substantially impacted. Not only was I navigating a new baby, being away from my husband and son, being isolated due to COVID-19 restrictions, dealing with postpartum healing but I was now a 'medical mom' learning things I never thought I would have to know.
I can tell you that I truly didn't care about 'myself' at the time. I didn't care I wasn't eating, I didn't care I was isolated to a hospital room for 24 hours a day, I didn't care I didn't have a toothbrush. All I cared about was the health of my critically ill baby. Every time I had a family member bring me something as simple as a bag of chips or some clean clothing, I broke down in tears. You don't know how much you need to support until you need it.
I've spent many days reflecting back on the experience which is where my passion for Delivering Sunshine came from. Whether you are a supporting parent or guardian, a patient, an elderly grandparent at home with limited access to shop - we as family and friends should have the ability to support.
Having the ability to send a personalized, thoughtful and practical gift to someone in need will support the physical and mental health of the individual will receiving care and in preparation for reintegrating back home post care.