Carter’s Story: Many organizations exist to help Hasbro Children’s Hospital patients and their families

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – There are many organizations in place to help support Hasbro Children’s Hospital patients and their families.

Eyewitness News anchor Shannon Hegy received help from several of these organizations when she spent 10 weeks in the hospital while her infant son Carter battled bacterial meningitis.

Carter’s Story: Shannon Hegy shares her baby’s experience with bacterial meningitis »

Shannon said she didn’t even know some of these groups existed, but she’s not sure how her family would have made it through that incredibly trying time without their help.

The Izzy Foundation

The Izzy Foundation is named after Isabelle Marie Wohlrab. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 rhabdomyosarcoma cancer two weeks after her first birthday and sadly died two-and-a-half years later.

The foundation was initially created to defray the cost of Izzy’s stem-cell transplant in Germany. Now, it provides services and support to sick children and their families by implementing inpatient and outpatient services for pediatric patients at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

The Izzy Family Room opened on the fifth floor of the hospital in March 2014. It’s designed to look more like a home and less like a hospital room. Inside, families can eat, watch TV or just relax during long stays at the hospital. There are locker rooms inside, a big window to look out of and a computer.

Coffee, snacks, dishes, and hygiene supplies are provided daily. There are also weekly yoga classes, family meals, birthday parties, comedy shows, haircuts, massages and family movie nights.

The Ronald McDonald House

The goal of the Ronald McDonald House of Providence is to provide a home away from home for families with children from birth to 21 years old who are hospitalized or receive major medical treatment at nearby hospitals.

There are private bedrooms with an adjoining bathroom available for overnight stays, along with a number of other amenities including a full kitchen, laundry room, and gym.

Families who just need a break from the hospital are also welcome to the RMH Family Room. There are a number of couches, TVs, dining areas, playrooms and nap rooms available.

Each year, nearly 300 families stay at the Ronald McDonald House of Providence and an additional 1,900 enjoy the comforts of the Family Room.

The goal of the Ronald McDonald House is to allow families to spend additional time with a sick child, help ease financial burdens, provide a sense of normalcy and keep families together during times of medical crisis.

Binkeez for Comfort

Sometimes it’s the simplest gesture or reminder of home that can bring patients and their families comfort. Binkeez for Comfort does just that.

The organization, based in Shrewsbury, Mass., provides blankets to babies and children struggling to survive life-threatening illnesses, acute developmental and mental disorders and severe burns.

Each blanket is constructed from fabrics that are lead-free and hypo-allergenic, and the fabric has been independently tested to pass Consumer Safety Act Protection Laws and government safety standards. They’re also safe in x-ray and MRI machines.

Each Binkeez blanket is hand-crafted by volunteers in both adult and children’s sizes.