Carolyn’s journey with the Boston Shriners Hospital began in March of 2019, following a kitchen accident in her home state of Connecticut. The family first brought Carolyn to their local children’s hospital, but quickly found themselves being transported to Boston for specialized burn care, feeling scared and not knowing entirely what to expect.
A loving and healing environment
“From the moment we left the ambulance, we were held in care and love by all the staff at Shriners [Hospital],” said Carolyn’s dad, Dylan. “All the departments provided a nurturing, genuine atmosphere, from the security guards at the entrance to the cafeteria staff on the top floor.”
Four-year-old Carolyn stayed at the Boston Shriners Hospital for several weeks undergoing surgeries and procedures as well as extensive occupational and physical therapy. Throughout her recovery, child life specialists worked hard to keep her spirits up with pet therapy and play. Dylan recalled one day that was particularly rough for Carolyn and how touched he was by the diligence of the care team in helping her feel better.
In addition to these strong relationships formed with Carolyn’s care team, Dylan spoke of making wonderful connections with other families and enjoying conversations with staff members throughout the hospital. “It made me feel like we were all in this together,” he said. “Just in different ways.”
When Carolyn first returned to her preschool classroom, her child life specialist made the two-hour drive to educate her classmates about burns and fire safety. Since then, Carolyn regularly comes back to the Boston Shriners Hospital for laser surgeries to help with her scarring.
"Carolyn looks forward to these visits now! She asks when she can go back and visit, and she happily packs her hotel bag,” Dylan laughed. “This place will continue to be a part of Carolyn’s life as she grows up, and we are ever grateful to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston.”
Carolyn is now back to engaging in all her favorite activities – including cooking! She especially enjoys making videos on how to safely cook in the kitchen. Her favorite food to make? Waffles filled with chocolate chips or strawberries!
Currently Carolyn and her family are gearing up to support the hospital this Halloween season by participating in this year’s Virtual Haunted Walk. Between October 25 and November 2, Carolyn’s Super Heroes will hit the streets of Connecticut in their Sailor Moon costumes to raise awareness of burn safety. Help them fundraise by accessing their team page here!
“It all comes back to supporting the hospital,” Dylan said about the Walk. “I don’t know what we would have done if the Boston Shriners Hospital had not cared for us, and it’s important for us to give back.”
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