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Hello, Alberta Children’s Hospital

Last week was Kane’s first cardiology appointment at the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary.

Photo credit: Kane

We have been regular attendees at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton for the last 7 years, but with our move to Canmore comes a new hospital and a lot of new learning. So we brought our cameras and headed over with enough time to do a little exploring together.

Something you may not know about the Alberta Children’s Hospital is that when you first walk in from the parkade there is a hallway with four large pictures of kids that are made up of hundreds of smaller pictures of people. Kane made sure to get a shot of each of the four main kids and then he moved in for a detail shot of…well for this one it was the images of people who made up this girl’s upper lip!

Kane realized he couldn’t move his body closer to this collage, which was above the doors, so he asked me to show him how to zoom in with his point and shoot camera.


And then he was completely sidetracked by this place…

Emily’s Backyard is just inside the main doors of the hospital and is a play area for patients and siblings. You can drop off your kids for an hour and a half while at the hospital. Is this for real?! I started looking a little more into Emily’s Backyard and there is actually a second location at the Child Development Centre across the street. Now we’ve been lucky and very rarely have I had to bring Maverick for one of Kane’s appointments, but it is really good to know this resource is there for families. The Stollery has a few spots at Kepler Academy but for a family who was living in Edmonton it wasn’t something we needed to take advantage of.

We did actually have an appointment.

For those of you just getting to know our story, Kane had a heart surgery in September and he ended up requiring a pacemaker. If you would like to learn more about Kane’s medical story there is a link below. This time around Kane had an echo, an ECG and met his new cardiologist, Dr. Mills. He was really impressed at how easily all the stickers came off after his tests.

As for me, I was really impressed with a few things, too. I have been around children’s hospitals now for a while. Not just as a parent of a medical kid, but also as a peer mentor and a photographer. Here are a couple of my favourite things so far…

  1. The Alberta Children’s Hospital Family Guide was printed up and displayed in a number of locations, but there were also clear instructions on how to download it. And you know me, I’ve read it cover to cover. It included maps of the hospital as well as descriptions of many of the programs offered.
  2.  There is a library within the Family & Community Resource Centre at the hospital with books and resources on health topics for a variety of ages, as well as books purely for enjoyment.

I would say our first Alberta Children’s Hospital visit was a success. We’ll be back for Pacemaker and Scoliosis clinics the next few months and I’m sure we’ll keep finding new and interesting things to photograph together

Together we learn.

Together we heal.

For more posts related to Kane and his medical journey check out Our Hospital Story or maybe you are more interested in our Together project.

Published by Kristy Wolfe Stories

Kristy is an engaging, open, and honest Common Language DST trained digital storytelling facilitator. She has been speaking and teaching workshops on both photography & digital storytelling for 5 years. With a background in the education, healthcare, and non-profit sectors, she works with diverse audiences, prioritizing ethics in storytelling and storyteller wellbeing.

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