09
November
2021
|
14:32 PM
America/Chicago

Peak Performer: Erin Loftus

Child Life Specialist, Child Life- Medical Center

Summary

Erin was a Peak Performer recipient for the fourth quarter of 2021 (July-September). Below is her nomination letter.

Erin has gone above and beyond the call of duty since April 2021 for my granddaughter and daughter. My Granddaughter was diagnosed with an LCH tumor on her spinal column that disintegrated her C7 vertebrae. Suddenly we were thrust into the life of being a "cancer kid" and so began the chemo, pokes, and fear. Erin locked in on Makenzie and bonded with her immediately in the clinic. She helped her through the fear of port pokes, using the Buzzy Bee for distraction, and was always there to sit by Makenzie and her very pregnant mom to talk about concerns, fears, chemo, and ways to cope. Makenzie always feels at ease when Erin is around. Soon came a time that Makenzie fell pretty ill, and Erin came from the clinic over to the Infusion area and sat with her, and talked through her fears. Erin did not know until she arrived that Makenzie was to have a Halo placement the next morning due to her spinal column becoming very unstable. When she found out that surgery was happening, she took the time to go to surgery, obtain a Halo doll, learn about the surgery as quickly as possible, and came back to Infusion and did her Child life training with Makenzie on the Halo and what to expect. This was something that she just took upon herself to address. We could not have asked for someone to be more precious to our family.

​Once Makenzie had her Halo surgery, she was on 4 Pavilion. This was a scary time for her and she was very depressed. She did not want to eat or even feel like interacting. Erin somehow knew that Makenzie was not doing well, and she showed up to Makenzie's room to check on her. Once Erin knew that Makenzie was stable, she found a wheelchair, told her "We are going to a birthday party! You have to get up!" She put Makenzie in the wheelchair and wheeled her down to Steve's Birthday Party!! Little did we know that the party was 'virtual' and being recorded so Makenzie was the lone attendee and she LOVED that. She was able to pet Steve, was given a Steve stuffed dog, and Erin made sure that she felt her spirit lifted. Erin took the time to recognize this child who needed her so much at that moment and focus on her. Focus on the child, no matter what. Erin is the most precious person and she is such an asset to our family. I do not believe that Makenzie's wellbeing would be as good if it were not for this spectacular human being.