Voluntograpy – March 2019

This is Emmett.


You may remember Emmett, Amber, and John from my voluntography post a few years ago. That particular session was the first time I really incorporated storytelling into my Ronald McDonald House sessions.

Well, here we are three years later, and Emmett, who was born with gastroschisis, is back at the Stollery Children’s Hospital. Amber explained just how important Ronald McDonald House is to their family.

We have truly called RMH our home during Emmett’s short life of 3 years and 7 months. Our family has spent over 300 nights at the Edmonton House. We could not have done this journey without the RMH.

I met up with Emmett and his parents and we spent a little time at Ronald McDonald House before heading back to the hospital for meds and to get his lines cleaned out.

Amber updated me on what’s been going on with Emmett lately.
On Feb 16th 2019 I woke up and Emmett had gotten sick. In fact his whole body was yellow. We went to our local ER where the Dr. advised us we needed to go to the Stollery for admission right away. My first thought was I need to pack a bag and I need to get on the waitlist for a room at the Ronald McDonald House. As I was traveling to Edmonton I called to see if RMH had a room, luckily enough, they had a room I could check into. As Emmett and I arrived in the city we quickly dumped our belongings off and headed for the Stollery Emergency. We did not wait long in the ER  and were quickly taken to the back where they started emergency tests. We arrived on the unit around 9pm exhausted. The following day we went for a specialized exam where they put cameras in the biliary tree. They were looking for gallstones that were stuck in the biliary tree, unfortunately, what they found was infection.  Fast forward 4 days, we were now finding ourself in the PICU with multiple procedures being preformed. In just 5 short days Emmett underwent anesthetic 5 times and endured 5 procedures. Finally, we got some relief after inserting a stent between the bowel and liver. Emmett then started showing signs of being unwell again so he underwent a procedure to insert a drain into the gallbladder to help his body drain. Currently, we are awaiting a surgery in approximately 5 weeks.
But I had to show you just how active this little guy is. He can usually be found wandering the halls of the Stollery or on daypass to Ronald McDonald House. Emmett definitely kept me on my toes during our session!
Emmett it was great to see you again. I wish you the best of luck with your upcoming surgery.

3 thoughts on “Voluntograpy – March 2019

  1. I find the stories about voluntography so heart warming. My daughters first pregnancy and delivery of her daughter did not go well – with the passing of Mackenzie; although she was gifted with two beautiful sons a few years later. One of her regrets was that she did not take a few pictures of herself holding Mackenzie even though she was putting up a tough fight in the ICU with many tests, surgeries, tubes etc, At that time photography is not your first thought but photos are thought of at a later date. Every year in May I send a memorial donation to Children’s Make a Wish in Mackenzie’s memory. She was to be my first grandchild. This year I am going to send the amount to you to cover some of the expenses you may have – or just to say “thank you, this is a great idea for the parents to have”.

    • Beverly, thank you for sharing this story. Bereavement sessions are also something I feel quite strongly about, but you are right, the timing makes it uncomfortable for a lot of people. I had friend’s of a family get together and give them a session, which I thought was a powerful way to support the family.

      Thank you for your generous offer. I will definitely put it towards a bereavement session for another family.

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