The children are always our top priority

By Alicia Manteiga, International Teams Program Director, World Pediatric Project
With nine patients in St. Louis for care, we’re facing some new challenges in caring for our families in an era of social distancing.
Transportation to doctor’s appointments and physical therapy has gotten tricky. Ronald McDonald House of St. Louis has very generously allowed us to use their van to drive patients to and from Shriners Hospitals for Children St. Louis for appointments. 

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To keep everyone as safe as possible, and resourceful as always, we duct-taped a clear shower curtain to separate the driver from patients. This helps keep patients like 10-year old Cailyn from Belize and her mom, Deborah, safe and “distant” while riding to Cailyn’s weekly physical therapy appointment.
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Then there’s food. Every week, WPP provides groceries for the families in town. But, just as many families are finding, this has become increasingly difficult, with some items being out of stock, social distancing protocols, and long lines at the grocery store.
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Just one week’s worth of groceries took a total team effort of WPP staff shopping at multiple stores to find staples like eggs, milk, chicken, and produce that our families need to be safe and comfortable.
Thankfully, we were able to find some chocolate rabbits for some Easter baskets this weekend.
As crazy as it has become for everyone, these families have come a long way to get care for their children – and we’re still dedicated to making sure they can get it, even if it needs creative uses of duct tape and shower curtains. Because the children are always our top priority.