Celebrating the lives of pediatric patients

UI Health staff stand near a table.
UI Health staff members host a memorial celebrating the lives of pediatric patients.

Fourteen families gathered alongside UI Health staff Aug. 13 to celebrate the lives of pediatric patients during the Children’s Hospital University of Illinois’ 10th annual pediatric memorial service.

Every year, families and the UI Health community join together in remembrance of the children’s lives.

“This is an important tradition for our UIH community to come together and remember these precious children who have died,” said Dana Thornquist, UI Health pediatrics and child life specialist. “We work all summer long to beautify our pediatric memorial garden so the families can add stepping stones with their child’s name to this garden.”

The service includes staff and parent speakers, a poem, and a reading of names of children celebrated during the service, set to beautiful music performed by the Harmony, Hope and Healing choir. 

“When a child dies in our care, we as health care professionals remember that child forever,” Thornquist said. “This event is so special because we get to come together to honor those special kids who we loved caring for. Getting to see the families that we spent so much time with during long hospitalization is so special. Even though it is an emotional day, there are still many moments with smiles and laughs as we all catch up with old friends and new.”

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