Sparking Service


Hailey Winn, CO-Editor-in-Chief

I recently spent 17 days in the hospital. I knew the stays would help me physically, but I never thought they would change me emotionally as well. 

The first time I was in the hospital, I stayed for five days. I had gone into the ER because I had a constant stomach ache for three months. A doctor told me that it was caused by “stress,” however, a CT scan revealed that I needed surgery to remove an infection. After the surgery, I had to stay at Riverton Hospital until I could eat again. 

I was astounded by the amount of service I received while I was there. Riverton Hospital is an extension of Primary Children’s Hospital, so a lot of the donations that go to Primaries end up there. I received blankets, gift bags, and treats from people I had never met. 

Growing up in Utah, I have constantly seen various Primary Childrens’ service projects, and even participated in them. However, I never thought about the real impact that service would have in people’s lives. I had never thought about where the donations actually went, and how they would brighten an actual person’s day. 

While I was surprised by the service at Riverton Hospital, I was blown away by the service I saw during my third hospital stay. For my most recent stay, I was admitted to the main Primary Children’s campus. Primary Children’s hospital has a room called The Ronald McDonald Room, and it is run entirely by volunteers. They serve dinner and lunch free for patients’ families and offer a laundry room, showers, and a quiet room for parents to spend the night in. For parents and family who are far from home, they offer relief.  

 While I was there I met a girl named Taylor from Twin Falls, Idaho. Her family had to drive 4 hours to get to the hospital and because of her condition, her mom couldn’t leave the hospital at all. The Ronald McDonald Room service meant that her mom didn’t have to stress about eating or laundry. 

In addition to living far away, many families can stay at the hospital for months at a time. Sydney, an 11-year-old who was diagnosed with cancer, had been in the hospital for months before I was admitted. Her goal was to be out of the hospital by Christmas, and if not Christmas, New Years. Thankfully, towards the end of my stay, she was healthy enough to finish her chemotherapy treatments from her hometown. Her family used the Ronald McDonald house amenities multiple times a day. The Ronald McDonald room is a financial and emotional relief. 

It may not seem like it, but the service that you do really impacts others. It means the world to the people who are affected. Paws For a Cause season is coming up fast, so remember that what you donate matters. You’re making a big difference in the lives of others. **Patient names were changed for privacy reasons.