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Child Life On Call: Parents of children with an illness or medical condition share their stories with a child life specialist

Apr 17, 2024

"I've learned so much in this whole process. It's like you have a depth inside of you that resurrects as an advocate and high alert, and it lives inside of you when you need it."  

-Aspen, Willa's Mom

In this episode of Child Life On Call, host Katie Taylor and guest Aspen share an intense and educational journey through pediatric appendicitis. Aspen recounts her daughter Willa's sudden illness, misdiagnosis, and the emotional rollercoaster of a ruptured appendix leading to urgent surgery. This story not only highlights the challenges and nuances of navigating pediatric healthcare, but also underscores the importance of parental intuition and the vital role of child life specialists in supporting both children and their families during medical crises.

Katie and Aspen dive into topics such as parental intuition, medical advocacy, and the impact child life can make. Aspen's experience stresses the importance of trusting your parental instincts when you feel the medical assessments are overlooking the correct diagnosis. The conversation also discusses the significant positive impact of child life specialists in managing a child's anxiety and discomfort through creative and empathetic interventions, as well as the emotional toll on parents and the necessity of finding support during a child's medical emergency. 

"I wish I would have pressed harder to say, let's just do a scan. What's the worst thing that's gonna happen? 

Aspen, Willa's Mom

The resources mentioned in this episode are:

  • Child Life On Call: Access comprehensive guides and support for parents and healthcare providers on Child Life On Call.

  • Hospital Playrooms: The therapeutic benefits of play, the use of hospital playrooms to aid recovery and normalcy for hospitalized children. Read more about creating a comfortable and child-friendly environment in medical facilities here

  • Preparation Books: The importance of specialized books for children undergoing medical procedures to help them understand and cope with their experiences.


Engage with us on Instagram @ChildLifeOnCall for more stories from parents and practical tips. Check out our Amazon storefront for recommended products that support your child's development. Interested in enhancing your organization's pediatric care? Request a demo of the Child Life On Call app today!

About Katie Taylor, CCLS and Child Life On Call:

Katie Taylor is the co-founder and CEO of Child Life On Call, a digital platform revolutionizing pediatric healthcare by putting parents at the center of the medical journey. With over 13 years of experience as a certified child life specialist, Katie has made significant contributions to the field of child life and the families she’s served with over a decade of working at the bedside. She is an accomplished author, engaging child life and entrepreneurship speaker, and the Child Life On Call Podcast host. Katie's work emphasizes the vital role of child life services in supporting caregivers and enhancing children's medical journeys.

Learn 6 Positions to Help Kids Feel Comfortable and Safe During Procedures

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