Thanksgiving on the Pediatric Floor at EMMC 

Lots of people head home for the holidays, but for families with kids on the pediatric floor at Eastern Maine Medical Center, that’s not always possible.So folks there bring home, to them.”Yesterday, we pretty much found out we were going to be here during Thanksgiving. With everything we’ve gone through, it wasn’t surprising,” says Amy Ward.The Ward family comes to EMMC several times a week. Two-year-old Makenna is an oncology patient. So, they’re spending this Thanksgiving on the pediatric floor– and celebrating, right where they are.”Here it’s a bunch of family. We’ve been here long enough, we know everybody, everybody knows us,” Amy says. “Even though we can’t be with our family in Houlton, we can still be with family and enjoy the holidays.”A Thanksgiving dinner for all the families on the floor has been a tradition here for the past 15 years.”We try to make this a place where they can still be with their families and celebrate the holiday,” says Diana McKay, who’s worked on the floor for more than 20 years.Five-year-old Felicity Ward was getting to work in the kitchen and looking forward to all her favorites. “Turkey and mashed potatoes,” she says.”We had one of the siblings that was filling up the salt and pepper bowls here, so everybody gets involved, just like you were home,” Diana says.The Wards tell us they can’t say enough about the care they’ve gotten from the doctors and the staff here.”They make every necessary plan to make it as homey as possible, says Kirk Ward.And they say that means they have lots to be thankful for this holiday.”There’s just something about home, and this is what it is,” Kirk says. “And we treat it like that– we’re home.”