According to pediatrics.aappublications.org, approximately 45,000 infants, children, and teens die in hospitals and ICUs (Intensive Care Units) each year in the United States. Some of these are due to natural deaths, while others occur after life support is cut off. This is a tragic statistic, and unfortunately, sometimes even the highest regarded doctors can’t do anything to help the child.
Even if the general population has a limited number of options to help, there is one thing that can be done: giving to the hospitals. This can be toys, books, your time, resources, or blankets. Blankets are a common thing to give to hospitals for children and adults alike for the comforting factor they have.
Grace Blankets is a charity that has been in Texas since 2016 after its original founding in 2016. Their motivation for creating the charity was their very own daughter, Piper Grace. Due to an unfortunate life-threatening disease, Piper Grace only lived for a total of ten months. These ten months were also spent entirely in the hospital. According to the family, she had a defect in her diaphragm, holes throughout her heart, and her lungs were not fully developed by the time she was born. They say that she was never meant to live. Usually, an infant in Piper’s condition wouldn’t live nearly as long as Piper did. The family says that Piper taught them a lot. They say that Piper taught them to cherish every moment before it’s gone. Piper surprised everyone by living as long as she did, but she was still taken from this world too soon.
“Grace Blankets was created in honor and memory of our daughter, Piper Grace, who lived her entire life in the NICU (10 months) at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. From the beginning of our NICU journey, we yearned to give back, and acknowledge our love for the NICU staff at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City, where Piper lived… and giving them a fresh clean bed to sleep in. Our nurses are in LOVE with all of Piper’s wonderful blankies, and it hit me…that’s how we will give back!” This is the statement given on the website under the tab ‘why we do this.’ For those who aren’t aware, infants in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, intensive care for infants) get a fresh blanket every night. Obviously, if there are too many infants in the NICU at one time, they may run out of blankets. This is essentially what made the Jarvis family want to give some blankets of their own.
Ideal donations are homemade blankets that have been carefully crafted to be comforting and comfortable. Money is also a fantastic option to donate if you don’t have the resources to make a blanket yourself. If you would like to learn more about Piper Grace and her journey through her short life, she was featured on the television program Inside Pediatrics on seasons one and two.