“People don’t get it until they come and experience it,” Joan Fisher, George Mark’s current medical director, told me. “Parents don’t say, ‘This is where my child died.’ They say, ‘This is where my child lived.’ That’s very different.”

SOURCE: JOAN FISHER, 2019

In 2018, 160,601 babies were born in Georgia. Of these babies, 3% or 4,818 were born with birth defects. A further 964 were lost through early death. The 3,854 babies who survive the neonatal period must be cared for either at home or in hospital. There are no other options. Medically fragile children with life-limiting illnesses require constant home care. Their primary caregivers are their families, mainly parents and sibs. The emotional, physical and mental stress of this everyday care puts tremendous strain on the lives of all those involved. Life House Atlanta will provide temporary relief at no charge in a warm, inviting atmosphere especially designed for both respite and palliative stays. Here “kids can be kids,” interacting with other children, making memories and engaging in fun-filled activities. Parents and sibs will also find a breather from the routine care of their loved one and will have the time to network with other parents. Sibs can also interact with sibs from other families and share the common bond of living with and loving a special child. Families will return home with memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Respite and palliative care

for children with life-limiting illness