They are so kind and supportive and took a liking to him almost like he was their son too.

Penny Millirans, Family Member

Penny Millirans remembers when she received the call asking her to foster a 17-month-old named Joseph. She was told he was very fussy and didn’t like to be held. “But the day I picked him up,” Penny says, “I thought I had the wrong child because he was very affectionate and loving.”

That was the start of her journey with her now 9-year-old adopted son. Joseph faces many medical challenges, including short bowel syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy and chronic lung disease. “He’s had good times and bad,” Penny explains, “but we are so lucky to have the staff at Bronson Children’s Hospital. They are so kind and supportive and took a liking to him almost like he was their son too.”

Whether it’s the caring attention of child life specialists and art and music therapists, or the expertise of subspecialists in gastroenterology, surgery, neurology and radiology, Penny knows she has a team coordinating Joseph’s care and watching out for her and her son. “When I first started caring for him, I could not leave his hospital room without him breaking down in tears. With help from the hospital, they’ve made him more comfortable. He’s come a long way.”

Penny is thankful that through programs supported by the Bronson Health Foundation’s Children’s Hospital Fund, Joseph’s visits aren’t just limited to his medical needs. They have a family at Bronson. “It relaxes me. I can make quick trips home if I need to. Joe doesn’t think he’s going to get left and no one is going to be there for him.”

Having an extended family at Bronson Children’s Hospital brings Penny peace of mind as a mother, and brings art, music, friendship and so much more to Joseph.

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