When we headed to St. Jude, we assumed (there I go again with that) that Amber would be admitted to the hospital as soon as we got there. When we were released from Rapides to go home to get ready for the trip that Sunday, Dr. Rhodes made certain that we knew to keep Amber from playing too roughly or doing anything that might cause her to fall. The worry was that if she had any major contact to the kidney, then the tumor might rupture and pour the cancer cells into her body. Between that warning and our only knowledge of hospitals being regular ones, we were expecting to go to admissions and be put in a room. We had a lot to learn.
At St. Jude, they do everything they can to keep the child out of inpatient status. We quickly discovered that we would be staying at a local hotel that would be paid by the hospital. Amber would not become inpatient until she had surgery and even then, they would only keep her the minimum amount of time necessary as inpatient status. We were given a handbook on day one that told us how the hospital operated in addition to what they paid for. It even included places in Memphis that would give discounts or provide free entrance to St. Jude patients.
Again, details of St. Jude will come in a later post. This one was just to point out that everything you know about a regular hospital goes out the window when you are talking about St. Jude. You enter a facility that you don’t consider a hospital. It becomes an extension of your home for a time. Since we were there, they now have a hotel on their grounds. In our day, they contracted with a few local motels. Our home whenever in Memphis was the Red Roof Inn. Not a five-star hotel but it was 100% paid for by St. Jude.
For more information on St. Jude, visit https://www.stjude.org.