As a real estate agent in Myrtle Beach, I’ve got several choices to pick from when deciding which company to work for. As I’ve shared before, the name on the door, the commission splits, and several other things are not going to make me decide where to work. For me, it’s about the people, what they stand for, and what they are doing to make a difference in others lives. To me, being able to make a difference in others lives is something I strive to do each and every day and when I can combine it with my job, it’s a win-win situation. It’s one of the main reason I chose to work with RE/MAX was because of their involvement with Children’s Miracle Networks. Since 1992, RE/MAX has given over 147 million dollars to local hospitals.
While I always enjoyed helping Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and proudly give to it with every home I sell as well as doing several other fundraisers throughout the year, I never really understood how much CMN effects lives of the patients they treat. Until Now. Last week my daughter had to go down to the Medical University of South Carolina for revision surgery on her face to reduce and fix the scars from a dog bite the previous year.
My wife and I had been dreading the entire process and having to go back through everything again after we knew how traumatic it was the first time around here locally in Myrtle Beach when the accident originally happened. The whole time leading up to the day of surgery I had apprehension towards the prep work for the surgery. When it comes to needles, I’m a bit of a baby and do not like them and well my youngest daughter did not like it either when she had to have them the first time around. I knew once the IV was in and they could give her something to calm down things everything else would be fine, but just that original sticking and setting up had me on edge.
When we arrived at the hospital in the morning, we were greeted almost immediately by staff who was pleasant and ready to do whatever was needed. After getting checked in, they led us into the back waiting room area where all the out patients were for that morning. There were probably around 8-10 beds in this area with all types of people there for all kinds of surgeries. Everyone in this area was rather calm and even cheerful. As we came to the bed where Miriam was to be prepped, the bed was littered with all types of things to keep Miriam occupied.
It had coloring pads, books with sound effect buttons, stuffed animals and many other things to distract Miriam from the fact that she was about to have surgery. In case you are reading this and wondering, Miriam is my youngest and just turned 3 years old. While she knew she was in town for surgery on her cheek, I don’t think she really knew what surgery actually was. All of her other previous trips to Charleston were fun trips to see the doctor and planning for this day. We got her dressed in the gown, got her situated on the bed, and she immediately was into coloring and playing. Several doctors came in to introduce themselves and explain what they were going to do in the process. As time kept creeping closer to the time of surgery, my uneasiness continued to mount as I knew it was almost time for the IV needle and well like any parent, you don’t like seeing your kid cry.
Which is when the nurse walked in the door and put both my wife and I at ease. She explained to me that most of the patients they see at a Miracle Network Hospital have to come in on a somewhat regular basis for some sort of procedure and so that they try to make the experiences as pleasant as possible for the children. She explained that CMN hospitals in the area have a no stick/poke policy for children. Like any normal parent, I had no clue what that meant and so she explained that what the policy of the hospital is to not stick/poke children with needles while they are still awake. Instead, they give the children a drink of “juice” that starts calming the children down and preparing them for surgery. Then, the child has a small mask where they get to pick a flavor they want to smell as they go to sleep with the laughing gas. Then once the child is asleep, the IV is then started and general anesthesia is given.
Also, to help make the experience easier on the children, they allow for one of the parents to go back with the child into the operating room.
What they have learned is that when a young child is separated from their parents, it usually starts a level of anxiety almost immediately as the patient is in an uncommon area surrounded by a bunch of unfamiliar people. In our case, Katherine threw on the scrubs and went along with her into the operating room. She was there to keep her calm as she went to sleep. So when it was time for surgery, Miriam, Polka Dot Puppy, and Katherine all went together as a team into the room.
The other thing that I found very comforting is that as the child is waking up from the anesthesia, they want the family members right there. So that the last thing the child remembers is family, and then the first thing they see/remember when waking is their family right there. Once again, the moment she awoke, the nurses were there showering her with stickers, toys, and gifts. Miriam thought it was her birthday with the amount of attention and gifts she was given during surgery. After monitoring Miriam for a little while post surgery, they then assisted us on heading back to our vehicle and we left and drove back home.
The next morning when Miriam got up, all the meds had worn off and she was back to being her happy self. She was dancing, singing, and playing around the living room as if nothing had happened. The hospital even called to check in on her and make sure that everything was well and that she was not having any types of negative effects from surgery. Overall, it was an amazing experience and could not have gone any better for us. Everyone involved with the surgery was pleasant and helpful with anything we needed. Miriam was treated like royalty throughout the entire procedure and to this day she has yet to make any type of complaint about it hurting or being a bad experience.
This is Why I Give
I’ve given with the sale of every single home that I sell since starting at RE/MAX Southern Shores. I knew that my money went to help Children at the hospital, but now I’ve experienced first hand how this money helps make the entire experience so much better for the children involved. I knew that the money helped provide the services and equipment to children in need, but I’ve now seen how it does so much more. Last year I was recognized by my company as the Children’s Miracle Agent of the year. This award is given to the agent who does the most to help CMN. While I was also recognized for my sales last year, I was by far more proud to be recognized for this award.
As I begin to plan for my 2018 year, I’m looking into ways to give even more back to my local CMN and help even more families have the amazing and awesome type of experience we had at our local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in Charleston, SC.