Thursday, November 10, 2011

TouchStones Update

Thank you all for the birthday wishes for Jack and for watching his video.  It's still so hard to believe that Jack is 13 years old!  I can clearly remember Jack's first birthday - he was so sick. He was miserable, I was in tears and there was little energy for any celebration. We have come so far in thirteen years. While life is nothing like I expected or wanted (and still don't want), I think we've done a fairly good job of learning to "dance in the rain".   I'm so thankful for all the friends I've met along the way who are dancing right along with us.


On a different note, there are some exciting things going on with the TouchStones program.  I don't think that I've yet shared that we now have Children's Hospital of Orange County on board thanks to the persistence of my dear friend Sarah (Keturah's mom for those on the trach board).  CHOC is going to roll out the program hospital wide for all of its physicians.  They are putting together their own video using my "Dear Future Physician" letter as the foundation for what they want to say.  I've been invited to be a part of the video as well.  Exciting stuff!

I also recently exchanged emails with one of Jack's former PICU docs who was the physician who supported the Touchstones program from the beginning.  She was the one who gave me the confidence to move forward with the idea.  She was at Johns Hopkins at the time, but she is now on staff at Vanderbilt Medical School and Children's Hospital.  She shared with me that she has introduced the TouchStones program into a "Healer's Art" class she teaches at the medical school and she hands out the pocket stones on the last day of class.

It warms my heart to know that the program is being used at some of the top childrens' hospitals in the country.  Thank you St. Louis Children's Hospital for hooking me up with amazing doctors and thank you for hooking me up with amazing parents.

Although I would love to have more hospitals on board, I recognize that we are making a difference one hospital at a time.  If we can change the way one physician treats his or her patients and families (and I believe we have), then we have succeeded.  I am a firm believer in making a difference one "starfish" at a time.  I shared the "Starfish Story" a couple of years ago, and I share it again to remind you that we can ALL make a difference one person at a time.



Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one."


Sarah said...

I'm so excited and can't wait to talk more tomorrow!

Susan said...

I love the starfish story! It's is so true!

I love that with your extraordinary and busy life that you find a way to make a difference. You're amazing Ann!

TouchStones is a great program. I wish I knew someone at Seattle Children's who could bring your program in. Maybe you'll have to let us know how Sarah did it.

Christy said...

Great post! Love the Starfish story! I agree with Susan, I don't know how in the world you find the time... You're awesome. Thank you for all you do!!!