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letters | children’s hospital plans stir reaction

Garden’s riches can’t compare to mission of providing best care possible

RE “EXPANSION may oust a treasured retreat” (Page A1, Aug. 2): I’m not a doctor, an architect, or a gardener. I’m the father of a boy who was born with a hole in his immune system. I live in a practical world of choices, and I can speak for families like mine who face life-threatening conditions and have to make life-changing decisions. Boston Children’s Hospital’s Prouty Garden was not an important component to finding a cure for my son.

My son had almost 1,000 days of hospitalization before he turned 5, dealing with infections that almost took his life due to a primary immune deficiency. Children with a primary immune deficiency have infections of rare and dangerous bugs. Single rooms are essential to better care. There were times when a single room was unavailable, and managing my son’s care turned dangerous because of the risk of acquiring new infections.

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I’m the co-chair of the hospital’s family advisory council, a group of parents who represent more than 200 years of combined experience of what I call “extreme parenthood.” The council is working closely with hospital administration on its expansion plans.

Who can deny growth of the best pediatric institution in the world? The new green spaces will not have the botanical history of Prouty Garden, but they will allow patients too sick to leave their floor to visit green spaces near their nurses’ station.

When I told my son, who is now 14, about plans to replace Prouty Garden with a new building, he disapproved initially. Then he said that it was OK to replace this garden with a new building if kids could get better care or get a cure, just like he did.

Andrés L. Treviño

Sudbury

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