With the ninth annual Sens Foundation Telethon for Roger's House set to kick off before the Sens drop the puck against the New York Rangers, the stories of how Roger's House impacts the lives of families and children are set to move into the limelight of the evening.
Amy and Andrew Beaton recently used the resources Roger's House has to offer for their son, Dylan, who passed away in January, roughly one month after he was born. The Beatons consulted the Roger's House team throughout Amy's pregnancy and received care shortly after he was born. They ultimately returned to Roger's House for end of life care as they said goodbye to Dylan.
From the outset Roger's House did what they could to makes sure the Beatons were able to cherish the time they had with their son.
"When we were referred to Roger's House we were told that our son probably wouldn't survive his birth, that he could still pass away while I was pregnant with him, and if he did survive it would be very brief," said Amy.
"A couple of the nurses from Roger's House helped us develop a specialized birthing plan to prepare us for Dylan's birth. They told us about how they would have a photographer there to take pictures of Dylan and us when we had him because it would help us, and they would be there for support for us if Dylan did pass away at birth. They took molds of his hands and feet as well. Our experience with Roger's House was very positive."
The care extended by the Roger's House staff wasn't limited to the walls of the facility. Those who work there take a genuine, active role in the lives of those individuals who require their services.
"They were very compassionate. A couple of the nurses and three or four of the doctors we had seen attended Dylan's funeral. They are just genuinely compassionate, caring individuals."
That type of care is what makes Roger's House such a special facility for so many families. Not only is it a top resource for families and their children, but the willingness of staff members to extend do what they can beyond the four walls of the building make it a truly unique and comforting place to have a child cared for.
The staff went to great lengths to ease the burden off of the family's shoulders.
"Since Dylan was born at the end of November and we brought him home in December, the doctors and nurses called us regularly at home, a couple doctors even made house calls to check on Dylan instead of having us drive into the city," said Amy. "They called in prescriptions for us. He had an infection and instead of us running to Roger's House to pick up the prescription they faxed it here in town. We didn't have to do any additional running around and minimized any additional travel we'd have to do with Dylan."
Since Dylan's passing Roger's House has stayed involved with the Beatons, helping them cope with the loss of their child. They have been set up with another family who have shared a similar experience and meet once a month to discuss the challenges they face.
The helping hand has meant a great deal to the family.
"I don't know where we would be in our grief journey without these services. As horrible as it is, just knowing that there are other families going through the same things we are going through is comforting. It has allowed us to talk about our feelings and thoughts and what we're experiencing without feeling judged. We're allowed to talk openly and freely. It's comforting to know that service is there."
As they progress through their journey alongside the services of Roger's House, the Beatons are giving back to the facility. They have organized the Dylan Beaton Memorial Golf Tournament at The Canadian Golf and Country Club for June 17 of this year with all of the proceeds going to support Roger's House and to raise awareness of Pallister-Killian Syndrome, Dylan's illness.
For the Beatons, when it comes to what makes Roger's House so special and what has compelled them to give back, the comfort it provides in tough times is of great value to families.
"A family should have the opportunity to take as much as time as they need to say goodbye to their child. I know when Dylan passed away we were able to say goodbye in a quiet setting — not in a busy setting like a hospital — we were in a quiet room and we were able to say goodbye, peacefully. This place needs to continue. Families need the opportunity to say goodbye."
Tune in to the CN Roger's House Telethon on March 28 at 6:30 pm on Rogers Sportsnet. To learn more or make a donation please click here.
For more information on the Dylan Beaton Memorial Golf Tournament you can visit the Facebook page here.