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'They actually helped us:' Mason household shocked by 10-year-old's demise praises specialists at Kids's – jj
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'They actually helped us:' Mason household shocked by 10-year-old's demise praises specialists at Kids's

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A Mason family, heartbroken after the loss of their 10-year-old daughter, is giving back in her name. One of the first recipients on their list is a team of specialists at Children’s Hospital, who they said helped them through some of the most difficult moments they have ever experienced.Using music therapy, arts and crafts and even therapy dogs, the child life department goes above and beyond to connect with patients.Cathie Marshall leads the team of dozens of child life specialists at Children’s Hospital, who aim to ease the burden of hospital stays on patients and families. When a child’s health takes a turn for the worse, child life specialists grant final wishes and help families come to terms or say goodbye. The idea is to make “it the best moment we can make in a very worst situation,” Marshall said. “It’s being there to hear and listen and putting our hearts back for a bit and then maybe we have to go process a little bit later.”Through memory making, child life specialists help families freeze time and turn it into forever art. Sometimes they use hand paint or clay to create family keepsakes, reminders that a child’s life mattered.”It’s a tangible piece of that loved one,” Marshall said, “that I was present in that moment.”Scott and Holly Gibson never imagined they would be sitting in a hospital room during the 10-year-old’s final hours, experiencing firsthand how precious life can be. Late February, she was diagnosed with the flu and strep throat. Hours later, she went into cardiac arrest and had to be flown to Children’s Hospital. She died a day later. “I can’t even really imagine in 10 years that we’ll feel any different,” Holly Gibson said. “We just have such a hole in our hearts right now that will always be there.”In February, they were told the words no parents should have to hear. Their youngest daughter Sable had become sick with the flu and strep throat, went into cardiac arrest and was flown to Children’s Hospital for treatment “So we had one day, after we found out about everything with our daughter, one day to spend with her and tell her goodbye,” Scott Gibson said. “And it was an amazing day.”He said the day was so memorable and special thanks in part to the child life specialist assigned to work with their family, supporting Scott, Holly and their five other children. “They were with us when we told our kids, ’cause now you have to tell your kids this devastating news about their sister,” Scott Gibson said. “That was really difficult. They really helped us.””We didn’t even know somebody had that job until we were in that situation,” Holly Gibson said. Sable was lovingly called “Little Sister” or “Little Sis” by her family. Now her big sister, Sailor Gibson, wants to become a child life specialist. The high school junior had dreams of becoming a teacher, but after losing her little sister, wants to help other families cope on their worst days.”She’s got the tools for that. She’s wired for that. And who will have more empathy in those situations than her?” Scott Gibson said. Losing their little girl changed their lives forever, but how they said goodbye, with the close care of child life specialists, made the heartbreaking final moments just a little less painful. The said they will forever cherish the memories they made together in an incredibly difficult time.Just weeks after losing Sable, the Gibsons launched the Shine Like Sable foundation. Through the foundation, they are now giving back to several organizations and charities, including child life specialists at Children’s Hospital. Read more and learn how to help here.

A Mason family, heartbroken after the loss of their 10-year-old daughter, is giving back in her name. One of the first recipients on their list is a team of specialists at Children’s Hospital, who they said helped them through some of the most difficult moments they have ever experienced.

Using music therapy, arts and crafts and even therapy dogs, the child life department goes above and beyond to connect with patients.

Cathie Marshall leads the team of dozens of child life specialists at Children’s Hospital, who aim to ease the burden of hospital stays on patients and families.

When a child’s health takes a turn for the worse, child life specialists grant final wishes and help families come to terms or say goodbye.

The idea is to make “it the best moment we can make in a very worst situation,” Marshall said. “It’s being there to hear and listen and putting our hearts back for a bit and then maybe we have to go process a little bit later.”

Through memory making, child life specialists help families freeze time and turn it into forever art. Sometimes they use hand paint or clay to create family keepsakes, reminders that a child’s life mattered.

“It’s a tangible piece of that loved one,” Marshall said, “that I was present in that moment.”

Scott and Holly Gibson never imagined they would be sitting in a hospital room during the 10-year-old’s final hours, experiencing firsthand how precious life can be. Late February, she was diagnosed with the flu and strep throat. Hours later, she went into cardiac arrest and had to be flown to Children’s Hospital. She died a day later.

“I can’t even really imagine in 10 years that we’ll feel any different,” Holly Gibson said. “We just have such a hole in our hearts right now that will always be there.”

In February, they were told the words no parents should have to hear. Their youngest daughter Sable had become sick with the flu and strep throat, went into cardiac arrest and was flown to Children’s Hospital for treatment

“So we had one day, after we found out about everything with our daughter, one day to spend with her and tell her goodbye,” Scott Gibson said. “And it was an amazing day.”

He said the day was so memorable and special thanks in part to the child life specialist assigned to work with their family, supporting Scott, Holly and their five other children.

“They were with us when we told our kids, ’cause now you have to tell your kids this devastating news about their sister,” Scott Gibson said. “That was really difficult. They really helped us.”

“We didn’t even know somebody had that job until we were in that situation,” Holly Gibson said.

Sable was lovingly called “Little Sister” or “Little Sis” by her family. Now her big sister, Sailor Gibson, wants to become a child life specialist. The high school junior had dreams of becoming a teacher, but after losing her little sister, wants to help other families cope on their worst days.

“She’s got the tools for that. She’s wired for that. And who will have more empathy in those situations than her?” Scott Gibson said.

Losing their little girl changed their lives forever, but how they said goodbye, with the close care of child life specialists, made the heartbreaking final moments just a little less painful. The said they will forever cherish the memories they made together in an incredibly difficult time.

Just weeks after losing Sable, the Gibsons launched the Shine Like Sable foundation. Through the foundation, they are now giving back to several organizations and charities, including child life specialists at Children’s Hospital. Read more and learn how to help here.

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