Mother Cathy Wang can only imagine how vulnerable families feel in the midst of the E. coli outbreak. coli in some Calgary daycares.
As of Wednesday, Alberta Health Services reported there are now 310 lab-confirmed cases as well as 21 children still hospitalized. In the meantime, 14 patients have been discharged from the hospital.
“Hearing what they’re going through and reading the articles about the state of the families, what the families are going through in the hospital, it just, it makes me feel really helpless,” Wang said.
By the end of the month, the Wang family will move into their new home and transfer their son from one daycare to another.
Wang says that if the move had happened a month earlier, her son could have been one of the hundreds of children currently sick with E. coli and he would be enrolled in the Fueling Brains Academy starting October 1st.
“We just missed the whole outbreak,” she said.
Wang says she has spoken to a number of parents at Alberta Children’s Hospital who say “meal time is the hardest time for them.”
This has motivated Wang to do what she can to help her future daycare family as they continue to go through a difficult time.
This week she launched a GoFundMe campaign and on Wednesday the fundraiser topped $3,300 with the money being spent on coffee runs, food, snacks and dozens of Uber Eats gift cards for parents so that they do not have to leave their child’s side.
Wang says it’s not just his group of volunteers who are stepping up, but also families across Calgary.
“It really is a team effort from everyone, from every parent in the daycare, for the parents in the daycare,” she said.
In a daycare Facebook group, parents thanked those who gave their time to help.
A parent writes: “Cathy Wang, thank you so much for the coffee! And the food! Thanks for the Skip gift card! We’re going to have pizza dinner tonight at the hospital and feed lots of mouths!! I appreciate you ladies so, so much.
Meanwhile, another message read: “To the person who dropped off spaghetti and garlic toast at the children’s hospital, I appreciate you.” I couldn’t leave the hospital room because I was alone with my two children. I’ve been starving all day! So thank you very much.
In fashion now
“When their children are so young, it’s hard to leave them,” Wang said.
“They can’t really get up and have a coffee, they can’t really go out and eat something because you want to be around them.”
One of the volunteers helping Wang is Helen Williamson who, unlike Wang, has some insight into what parents are going through at the hospital, with her daughter also affected by the outbreak.
“It’s just the stress of waiting, the stress of blood tests in such a small child, but I didn’t have the fear, I think, as much as these other parents,” Williamson says.
Her daughter has never been admitted to the hospital, but she says the child has been in and out of the health center over the past two weeks to undergo tests.
Williamson says with so many parents always standing by their children, she was compelled to lend a hand.
“I didn’t have a baby in the hospital overnight, but I can just imagine worrying about getting food, just one less thing to worry about,” she says.
Anyone wishing to help can visit the Children Suffering from E Outbreak GoFundMe page. coli in daycare.
© 2023 PKBNEWS, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.