Helping Children with Serious Illness

Mar 22, 2019 | Community

Mom Ashley McClain and Vinny’s nurse Ashley Bates

Kourageous Kids is a not-for-profit 501c3 run by Hosparus Health geared toward helping any child with a serious or life-limiting illness. Kourageous Kids provides these children and their families with a team of experts to guide them with issues such as symptom control, counseling and spiritual support, and referrals to other community resources.

Social Worker Beth Bissmeyer, Mom Ashley McClain, and nurse Ashley Bates with Vinny Arnold

We provide “wrap-around services” to the patient and their families, which allows them to focus on the child and less on the daily tasks such as medical appointments, says Sheila Otten, a licensed clinical social worker with the program. The program includes a team of health care professionals: a physician, a nurse, a certified nursing assistant, a chaplain, a social worker, and a volunteer if the family requests one. For instance, if a patient needs prescriptions, the nurse handles those.

Sheila also says the program staff raises the awareness of the needs of a medically complex child by presenting programs at doctors’ offices, schools, and community organizations.

Kourageous Kids extends support to siblings navigating life with a chronically ill brother or sister. Having a medically complex sibling can be a challenge. The ill child seems to get more attention, and the sibling may feel left out. The social worker can help siblings adjust and thrive in their own ways.

How You Can Help

Kourageous Kids counts on the generosity of the community to meet the needs of their patients. Most patients fall into the palliative program, which is offered at no cost to the patient. Per Ed Dohn, the clinical supervisor, the program is always in need of items such as diapers of all sizes and gift cards for grocery stores and restaurants.

Contact Go here for more information.

Extra tidbit: Another idea for how you can help young adults improve their self esteem and become emotionally strong. 

Grandmother Christine Arnold, and her daughter/Vinny’s mom Ashley McClain