By Tony Adams, The Belton Journal
The Belton Tigers’ baseball toured the Scott & White Children’s Hospital and McLane Children’s Hospital on April 15 as part of the team’s Home Run for Health campaign.
The team took an hour-long tour of the S&W Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, where the team was taken through PICU and team saw at a close distance the hands-on care that doctors and nurses provided to these young lives.
The team visited with a few young patients during their tour of PICU before heading to the helicopter pad and taking a tour of the helicopter that transports young patients from outlying area’s hospitals to Scott and White.
“I think seeing them playing on the floors and interacting with the kids was neat,” said Jennifer Williams, Philanthropy Coordinator for McLean Children’s Hospital Scott & White. “It really hit home for them and really sent a message that there are children out there that are sick. When the boys saw the infants in the NICU, now that was amazing. There’s always that perception that the baby always goes home with mom. Nobody knows what NICU does and when they saw first hand what they do with the babies, it really hit home with them.”
“It was very interesting to see the team’s interactions with the patients,” said Jaylee Hilliard, Director of Patient and Family Services for McLane Children’s Hospital Scott & White. “They were very respectful of the children and their families. It was a reality check. When one of the child’s dads stepped up and said ‘This is why you need to wear your seat belt’, the looks on their faces instantly changed and they took that message very seriously. They realized that illnesses and accidents don’t discriminate.”
One of the highlights of the tour was the team getting to see first-hand the tangible piece of equipment that fundraising from 2013 was able to purchase a VECTA Distraction Station. It is a medical device that provides many multi-sensory environments that serves to maximize focus and facilitates desirable adaptive responses in children. It serves as a non-invasive distraction for children for physicians to conduct necessary procedures.
The VECTA machine stays primarily in Radiology, but has made its tour around the hospital.
“It really been a great help in other parts of the hospital,” said Hilliard. “It’s been beneficial for those children with autism, as it is tactile. It’s something that they can put their hands on and are mesmerize by it. It is very soothing and calming to them.”
In 2014, the team was able to see what the machine performed and they were captured by its soothing ways. The 2015 team really enjoyed it as well.
“The station has really provided our radiology a machine that helps with diverting the attention of a child to be able to calm them,” said Hilliard. “It was need seeing how the team reacted to the station. To see their reactions was neat. When we dimmed the lights in the radiology waiting room, they were all mesmerized and all silent, taking it in. It was very interesting to think that a machine that is thought to just help young people really has that calming effect on others. It’s very soothing.”
“Being able to see the tangible piece of equipment and what their efforts have done brought smiles to their faces,” said Williams. “What they are doing is making a big impact on this hospital. It’s an actual piece of equipment that is being used in this hospital today.”