WALES, Mass. — For a small price you can make a big difference in a child's life. Four-year-old Savannah Whittier of Wales, Mass. is headed to Boston Children's Hospital next month because of a disorder that makes her sick every time she eats.
All she wants to feel better are cards.
"Going in the hospital is not super fun for anybody," said Jennifer Whittier, Savannah's mother.
For about a year, doctors have been trying to figure out why ingesting food causes the child such unbearable stomach pain that her meals have had to come in an intravenous form known as Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN).
"TPN is not the safest thing to live on," Jennifer Whittier said. "It can do a lot of damage to your liver."
The goal of next month's hospital stay is to find a formula that savannah can tolerate so she can at least partially come off the TPN. However, that will require exposing her sensitive gastrointestinal tract to food.
"This is not going to be a pleasant stay for her," Whittier said. "Because they have already warned us that this is probably going to make her very, severely sick and very uncomfortable."
Jennifer and Jason Whittier know their daughter will need some cheering up during this difficult hospital stay, and they know what will help: cards.
"We really just want to decorate every wall possible with as many cards as possible to bring a smile to her face," Jennifer said.
Cards make Savannah smile. To her, they are more than folds of paper inscribed with phrases.
"We've been getting cards the past couple of weeks," said Jason Whittier. "And the other day she said, 'Mommy look at me, look how many people love me.'"
With Savannah facing a tough couple of weeks, her parents ask only this: keep those cards coming.
Cards can be sent directly to the Whittier home:
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