INDIANAPOLIS – Riley’s Children Hospital is gearing up to host its annual Pediatric Critical Care Walk-A-Thon and reunion.
This Saturday hospital staff will be reunited with some of the patients they cared for.
“It provides that example of why we keep going when it’s tough to see those patients doing so well after,” said Dr. Courtney Frye with Riley Children’s Health.
This is the first year back in person since the pandemic started.
The families can make strong connections to their child’s care team during these dark times. So, this is a chance for them to show the process they’ve made.
For the past two years the event has been virtual and patients were asked to go on walks and take pictures.
Justin Meinhardt’s son was in the critical care unit for two months back in 2020. He says he’s looking forward to the event being held in person.
“Events like this are a really good opportunity for us to get back and show them the progress that he’s making so the effects they’ve had and all of the great things that all of their hard work [did.] I can’t even say pays off, it more than just pays off. I don’t even know how to describe it,” said Meinhardt.
“It’s a very unique opportunity to kind of say thank you in a way that, as I mentioned, saying thank you pales in comparison to how we really feel and what we’d really like to say. Don’t really have all the words, but we are incredibly grateful.”
It means a lot for the care teams as well. Doctors say they are looking forward to the event being back in person, especially after the rough time they’ve had during the pandemic.
“I think it’s going to be really gratifying to be able to see everyone in person. To see the joy on the kids’ faces. And to really get to say hi to the families again. A lot of them tried very hard to support us when we were virtual,” said Dr. Frye.
“To see our patients come back who are improving, who are thriving after their critical illness, really gives you a reason to keep working on the hard days.”
The 5-K walk will be this Saturday. Registration starts at 8 a.m. at the Riley Simon Family Tower lobby.
The Walk-A-Thon raises money for critical care research. You can pay to register or make a donation. You can find more information here.