Wendy Wooden’s Story: A 12-year-old Guides Kids Through ER Visits

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wendy-wooden-headshotWendy Wooden and her mother, Darcy Daniels, are very familiar with the Emergency Room. At age 3, Wendy was diagnosed with a debilitating disease, caused by a common intestinal infection. As a result, she experienced many medical complications that required a kidney transplant, a partial intestinal removal, and 180 days in the hospital all before her 6th birthday.

As a frequent hospital ER patient, Wendy is accustomed to beeping machines and procedures, but she admits that she still gets overwhelmed by urgent trips and admissions to the hospital. In 2014, when a family friend called to ask for advice about what to expect from a hospital visit with her two children, Wendy recognized that other children, those who may have never been to the hospital before, may also share similar feelings.

With the help of her mother, Wendy wrote “You Are Here: Wendy’s Welcome to the ED.” This story is a guide for fellow pediatric patients to help them understand what to expect from hospital visits to the Emergency Department and help reduce anxiety for both the patient and their family. Wendy and Darcy found the hospital couldn’t invest in making a book of Wendy’s story. Darcy took to Facebook where her friend, Stuart Baur of Boston architectural firm, Payette, found a way to help with a very special project. The Payette team donated 1,000 staff hours to turn Wendy’s book, and voice, into the animated video for MassGeneral Hospital for Children, You Are Here: Wendy’s Welcome to the ED.

By creating this video to help ease other childrens’ fears of going to the hospital ER, Wendy’s story demonstrates the PVI Principles of Empowerment and Information.

Watch Wendy’s story below:

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