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Families like yours helping families like theirs

Nathan’s Story

On January 9, 2017, Nathan Jodison was transported to the Park Ridge campus of Advocate Children’s Hospital with injuries too severe to be treated elsewhere. Sherri, Nathan’s mom, who was being treated at a different hospital nearly 50 miles away, felt helpless.

Nathan and Sherri were involved in a head-on collision that caused Nathan to suffer a concussion, whip lash, internal organ tears and a bruised lung, in addition to the many bumps and bruises that covered his 13-year-old body.

For five days, Nathan was virtually unable to see, and he required an intensive surgery to repair the tears in his small intestine.

After a two-week stay in the hospital, Nathan was able to go home. Aside from the vision problem in his left eye, which is improving with specialized treatment, Nathan’s life is back to normal. Today, he is back to being a 13-year-old kid who enjoys soccer, basketball and video games.

A letter to those who came to the rescue

I will never forget receiving that phone call—one of the worst calls a parent could receive.

Upon arriving at the hospital, I saw several doctors and nurses working on Nathan. I felt so helpless. I felt like there was something I should be able to do for my son, but I knew it was out of my hands.

Almost immediately, he was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). About three days into his stay, the doctors explained the need for exploratory surgery on Nathan’s abdomen. The surgeons found what they had expected—multiple tears in his small intestines. Thankfully, after a successful surgery and an additional 11 day stay, we were able to take Nathan home.

Those 14 days were some of the hardest in my life. During that time, I only left Nathan’s side once for about an hour. Though our hospital stay was unexpected and terrifying, we could not be more appreciative for what Advocate Children’s Hospital was able to do for us—from providing meal vouchers to phone chargers so we could keep in touch with family.

Saying “thank you” to all who played a role, no matter how small, in the lifesaving care of my son, will never be enough.

— Nathan’s dad, James Jodison

How you can make a difference

“There is nothing harder on a parent or caregiver than having a seriously ill or injured child. The Families in Need Fund offers families resources to allow them to focus on what really matters—the health and wellbeing of their child,” Milada Gorelik, manager of pediatric care management and social work. The Families in Need Fund provides emergency support to patients and families at Advocate Children’s Hospital who experience the unexpected burden of hospitalization. Families, like Nathan’s, benefit from short-term assistance to ease both the emotional and financial trauma of an illness or injury.

Each year, more than 20,000 families receive assistance, and the need continues to grow. Your gift to the Families in Need Fund will help families in their darkest hour. The fund provides clothing, lodging, transportation and other essentials to families who often arrive at the hospital with little more than the clothes on their back.

Every day, and especially during the holiday season, support of the Families in Need Fund helps relieve the uncertainty families face with an unexpected hospital stay. One hundred percent of your gift will support these families. Please consider making a donation to the Families in Need Fund. With your generosity, we can improve the lives of our young patients and take care of those who love them.