When a child is in the hospital, it’s like their parents are too. For these parents, the same sterile, uncomfortable grounds their children are confined to becomes home. They find themselves eating there, sleeping there, and often staying for days at a time while their children receive life-saving treatment. The hospital’s clinical-looking sleep rooms become their refuge. But these rooms are often dingy, cramped, and otherwise depressing—not exactly where you’d hope to rest your head during the most difficult days of your life.
However that’s no longer the case at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Egleston hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. Thanks to Holly and Peter Ranney and their non-profit organization Sunshine on a Ranney Day, the sleep rooms here have been transformed into a spa-like oasis.
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The Ranney’s, whose organization specializes in renovating homes for children with special needs, were inspired to work their magic Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Egleston after hearing about one of their patients, a little boy named Tripp Halstead, and his parents. Tripp suffered severe brain injury when a tree limb fell on his head at daycare. He was just two years old and stayed in the hospital for five months.
“It was just the most heartbreaking thing we've ever seen. They had him completely hooked up to all the monitors and all the tubes and he looked so small, he was only 2 years old,” his mother Stacy told The Today Show as part of NBC’s #ShareKindness campaign. “The hospital became our home. We ate here, we bathed here and we slept here… you want to cry and break down, but can’t in front of your child. It's just not acceptable, you have to stay strong.”
Stacy says that seeing the Ranney’s transformation to the place she knows so well touches her heart, and credits kind people like the Ranneys with making the world a better place. For Holly and Peter, the project was a labor of love. They call doing work like this their “mission in life.”
“Being able to give parents a space where they can come in and take an escape, even to put a pillow over their face and cry. If they can just be down the hall and feel like they've gone home or gone to a hotel, this is going to be so rewarding,” Holly Ranney said.