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What the coronavirus surge means for my medically fragile 2-year-old

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We’ve reached the point, yet again, that if Lily needs to go inpatient, she’d be admitted alone. She would likely be airlifted to a hospital that we’ve never been to before, as our home hospital and many others in our state are overflowing- and she’d be by herself. Because of the sheer recklessness and selfishness of others, my two year old, trached micropreemie would be in a completely foreign place without me or her dad to advocate for her and her abundant medical needs.

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Seeing posts from SO many people about “living your life” and “not living in fear” is appalling and hurtful. You are choosing to risk the lives of your parents, grandparents, and community members like Lily so that you can show how “strong” you are, while our child’s ability to access basic healthcare is in jeopardy.

I’m still frequently told that the vulnerable should just stay home, and/or Lily’s health isn’t anyone’s problem but ours. We HAVE to go to the pharmacy for medications and other life-sustaining supplies for Lily. We have groceries, etc delivered, but “just stay home” isn’t a luxury that we have every day. Lily needs access to medical services far beyond COVID treatment- she has an open hole in her neck to help her breathe, weak lungs, and several other medical needs stemming from her premature birth. When our hospital system is suffering as it is, we risk delayed response to all of the medical emergencies that can happen each day - pandemic or not.

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As you make your holiday plans, I hope that you consider people in your community like Lily who need the hospital bed, the ventilator, the suction tubing, and most importantly, the nurses and doctors who are already stretched too thin. This is STILL the time to consider the greater good over your “personal liberties”. I don’t need your thoughts and prayers. I need you to forgo Thanksgiving and stay home.

Please do not tell me that you care about my child or other medically fragile people like her and then continue to live your life like there isn’t a pandemic.

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