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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Jan 03, 2018

“Liam’s Room” Brings Comfort to Kids at K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital

On December 12, a newly renovated “Liam’s Room” was revealed at Hackensack Meridian Health K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital, located in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) of Jersey Shore University Medical Center. The room has a home-like atmosphere and features many amenities to help pediatric palliative care patients and their families feel more comfortable during an extended hospital stay.

Liam’s Room is a non-profit organization focused on providing a “home away from home” at hospitals for children with chronic, potentially life-limiting illnesses. It was created in loving memory of Liam Hayden McNamara, who passed away at age 16 months from an incurable neurological condition called Lissencephaly (Miller-Dieker Syndrome). The newly renovated room contains typical amenities that a child’s bedroom at home might offer, including bright colors, a video game and movie system, and bookshelf. A sleeper sofa, comfortable quilts and pillows, a private bathroom, and beach-themed artwork supplement the room for the family’s comfort.

“Our organization is so thankful that K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital has embraced the concept of pediatric palliative care,” explained Lisa McNamara, Liam’s mom and co-founder of Liam’s Room. “There are so many families in the Jersey Shore area who have a child facing a chronic, potentially life-limiting condition. Caring for that child and maintaining a functioning family unit can be a real challenge. Pediatric palliative care, as well as the special resource of Liam’s Room, can help in providing the comfort, coordination, and a family-centered environment to make their lives a little better and feel more supported.”

Since Liam passed away in 2007, his parents, Peter and Lisa McNamara, became determined to promote the importance of pediatric palliative care and make it available to other children and their families, specifically at the onset of diagnosis. In addition to the new room at K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital, Liam’s Rooms are available for families at Goryeb Children’s Hospital and Overlook Medical Center.

“As we continue to expand our Pediatric Palliative Care Program, the addition of Liam’s Room provides a wonderful resource for the many patients and families that unfortunately have to visit the PICU frequently,” explained Kenneth N. Sable, M.D., MBA, FACEP, president of Jersey Shore University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital. “We are incredibly grateful for this gift from Liam’s Room and feel confident that Liam’s memory will live on through the warmth and comfort this environment will bring to others.”

Through donor support, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital launched a Pediatric Palliative Care Program that includes a clinical team dedicated to providing much needed services to children with serious life-limiting medical conditions and their families. These services include comprehensive pain relief and symptom management, guidance with difficult and complex treatment options, family support, coordination of care, assistance in decision making and planning for the future, and end of life care/bereavement counseling.

To learn more about how you can support the Pediatric Palliative Care Program at K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital, please contact Paul Huegel, senior executive director of Jersey Shore University Medical Center Foundation, at paul.huegel@hackensackmeridian.org or (732) 751-5117, or visit www.HackensackMeridianHealth.org/GivingHeals. To learn more about Liam’s Room, visit www.liamsroom.org.

 

Photo caption: Lisa McNamara, Liam’s mom and co-founder of Liam’s Room, officially cuts the ribbon introducing the newly renovated room at K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital. She is joined by Paul Huegel (left), senior executive director at Jersey Shore University Medical Center Foundation, and Kenneth N. Sable, M.D., MBA, FACEP (right), president of Jersey Shore University Medical Center, as well as several board members of Liam’s Room.