Owen Nichols, age 6, lives in Michigan. He and his family have been coming to Boston Children's Hospital nearly every two months for the past four years. Owen was born with gastroschisis and Hirschsprung's disease. As a result, he has Short Bowel Syndrome and is dependent on IV Parenteral Nutrition (PN) and his new G-J tube for his nutrition; this means Owen has to be connected to two different pumps for a significant portion of each day.
Owen's most recent visit to BCH for a major bowel surgery — his EIGHTEENTH surgery — is just wrapping up now. They have been inpatient at the hospital for nearly nine weeks, including over the July 4th holiday, and will go home with many new challenges to face.
Kristina, Owen's mom, says the Prouty Garden is what Owen looks forward to every day. For her, the Prouty Garden is her outlet and sense of normalcy. Kristina shared this wonderful, touching video of Owen enjoying two simple things — sun on his face and water on his feet — on the July 4th holiday, a day when many people were out enjoying those same things. Except Owen got to do so while still inpatient within the confines the country's leading pediatric hospital.
The Prouty Garden is a vital, integral part of daily life at BCH, especially for the children and families who are inpatient. To take it away and replace it with a much smaller rooftop space and a series of tiny, virtually unusable and in no way healing pocket gardens, will be devastating for families like Owen's.
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