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Life, love and legacy through pediatric palliative care

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Tyler (pictured with his mom and dad) is featured in the documentary about pediatric palliative care. When he was 3, he had a brain tumor the size of a softball. He has remaining brain damage, which causes many health and developmental issues. He’s now 13.

After two years of planning, research and filming, Akron Children’s Hospital is happy to announce a new documentary featuring the Haslinger Family Pediatric Palliative Care Center and the stories of seven families.

Pediatric palliative care is a family-centered approach to providing care to patients with chronic, complex or life-threatening illnesses. The palliative care team treats pain and other physical symptoms, as well as emotional and spiritual suffering, which affects the entire family.

They work with other providers to aid in communication, care coordination and discussion of prognosis and goals of care. They provide care in the hospital, at outpatient appointments, and through home visits.

Documentary-logo-2The documentary will be shown on Western Reserve PBS stations several times during the month of October, close to World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, on Oct. 12. It was created to increase understanding and awareness of pediatric palliative care.

“Our documentary will educate viewers about palliative care based on our model at Akron Children’s,” said Dr. Cassandra Hirsh, of Akron Children’s Haslinger center who’s been involved in the project. “The seven families chosen show the breadth of our clients and the wide variety of the families we serve on a daily basis.”

The documentary highlights the journey of the patient and the family while explaining the multiple ways palliative care helps them every day.

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Katharine (pictured with her mom) was born with a brain malformation that caused a severe seizure disorder and other serious medical and developmental issues. Despite the difficulty, her family provided most of her care at home. She died from complications of her underlying disease on June 28, 2012. Her story is also featured in the pediatric palliative care documentary.

Each documentary showing will be followed by “A Closer Look: Palliative Care,” a 30-minute program which features interviews with Dr. Sarah Friebert, director of the Haslinger Family Pediatric Palliative Care Center at Akron Children’s, and Barbara Palmisano and Margaret Sanders from the Office of Geriatric and Palliative Care at Northeast Ohio Medical University, who were also involved in creating the documentary.

This informative program will look at what palliative care is and how it’s helping patients who have life-threatening or terminal medical conditions.

Viewing schedule

Portraits of Life Love and Legacy Through Pediatric Palliative Care

Western Reserve PBS Channel

Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 3 a.m.
Thursday, Oct. 17, at 11 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 20, at 3:30 p.m.

Fusion Channel

Saturday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 31, at 10 p.m.

A Closer Look: Palliative Care

Western Reserve PBS Channel
Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 4 a.m.
Friday, Oct. 18, at midnight
Sunday, Oct. 20, at 4:30 p.m.

Fusion Channel
Saturday, Oct. 19, at 8 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 31, at 11 p.m.