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We are #StayingHomeFor our 2020 Champion Lauren

As we celebrate #ChildrensHospitalsWeek we want to recognize the importance of children’s hospitals across the country. Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals asked who you are #stayinghomefor to showcase the role children’s hospitals play in the COVID-19 crisis and how individuals can help protect the most vulnerable kids. Kids like Lauren, the 2020 CMN Hospitals Champion for Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.


Lauren’s mom Melanie shared with us what it means to her to be #stayinghomefor their daughter, and more kids like her:

I am blessed to be given this opportunity to share with you a few of my thoughts during this unusual and challenging time not just for our country but the entire world.

Specifically why is it so important for each person to do his/her part to “flatten the curve” and not spread this virus? One reason is that we just do not know exactly who will win the fight over the virus and who will fall forever a victim, a loved one lost. I want so often to say to someone who coughs without covering their mouth: “Please come walk in my shoes when our daughter is sick.”

To look at our daughter today, you would not realize how difficult her life journey has been – a “blue baby” heart defect diagnosis at two days old, open heart surgery at three days old, seizures, asthma. Her list for several years just seemed to grow longer and longer. If our daughter becomes sick, she does not recover quickly, and it is difficult each and every time. Ensuring that she doesn’t catch a simple bug or develop an ear infection is critical to us, as this can lead to a 102° fever and then seizures.

We are blessed and forever grateful for our pediatrician whom we completely trust and is always willing to go above and beyond to help in any way she can, even if it is almost midnight. Unfortunately, that is for treatment – not prevention. But the fear of our daughter becoming sick is also a healthy fear. As a Miracle Mom, my daily routine when life is ‘normal’ includes sanitizing shoes, her lunch box, her backpack, ensuring hand sanitizer is always available in her backpack or my purse.

This virus has made me heighten my cleaning and sanitizing routine even more. We take the same car each time we go out to the store, sanitizing it when it returns. My husband is the only one who has gone inside a store for the last three weeks. We make sure that before we come in the house we remove clothes and shoes, and wash hands immediately. We even take a Lysol “shower” by spraying and walking through the mist, a learning from our pediatrician. Daily cleaning of light switches, door handles, electronic devices, counter tops, the list goes on and on.

I am fearful for my family as well as all of the other families who have a child who is considered susceptible to illness. These miracle children have fought so hard to be where they are today. These kids did not ask for these complex medical diagnoses to shape their childhood and the life ahead of them. As a mom, I’m asking that others please do not put my child or my family at risk of having to fight another BIG battle. Our daughter is so strong and we have weathered storms, but this is not a storm any of us want to have to face. 



Helping Central Florida Navigate the COVID-19 Outbreak

To help stay informed about the evolving situation,  visit the Orlando Health COVID-19 webpage, which can be found at

If you or a family member is experiencing a fever of 100.4+, cough or shortness of breath, consider Orlando Health COVID-19 Virtual Visit. Through your smartphone, tablet or computer, consult with a board-certified physician on what to do next. Orlando Health COVID-19 Virtual Visit is available anywhere 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

You can also find additional resources and updates by following Orlando Health on FacebookInstagram or Twitter.