Return to 7-West

It’s said you can judge a person’s life by the quality of their friends. Well, Robbie had a very rich life. His friends all stepped up and did something lovely in his memory.
As previously reported, his friend Naomi had no on to give a stuffed animal to, her father suggested she donate the animal to Yale-New Haven Hospital, she created a Facebook event, and it took off. She was on WEBE-FM, we were interviewed for the Fairfield Citizen-News, and New Haven Register. The Southport Brewing Company set up boxes to collect donations at their five restaurants. Boxes sprouted at the two high schools and his former middle school. And stuff just kept arriving.
This morning, Deb and I filled our minivan with toys along with Naomi’s car, which was stuffed front and back. We headed up to YNHH and were met by the full Child Life team, all pushing carts. And they had to send for more. As we hugged and smiled and laughed, we heard that the donations were more than expected and desperately needed because donations overall have been down given the economy.
As Naomi and Roo followed some of the staff to the 10th floor, nicknamed Santa’s Workshop, Deb and I wheeled a cart to 7-West. We were personally donating some of Robbie’s toys and games to the playroom. Joining us was Jess, his former nurse, who came in on her day off to visit.
Stepping onto 7-West was an odd, familiar feeling, yet different because we were there to be socialable, not look after a patient. It was with mixed feelings we recognized some of the patients after all these months. The feelings were overwhelmed by joy as we hugged one nurse or doctor after another. People broke into surprised smiles as we wheeled the cart down the hallway. Lining one wall, we chatted, playing catch-up. Everyone asked after Kate and we heard about nursing school or new puppies.
After a delay, Dr. Massaro joined us and she eventually took us down to the clinic so we could Dr. Beardsley. It also allowed us to say hi to the staff down there and once more we filled a hallway and did the usual quick catch-up. Of course, with the doctors we talked a bit about Robbie’s case and how difficult it truly was, something we didn’t appreciate at the time.
After a few hours, the doctors and nurses had to work, Jess had to run her errands and it was a working day for us. We left, feeling proud of his friends, and fairly happy to have visited one and all.

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