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news News Friday, April 3, 2020 Friday, April 3, 2020 3:53 PM - Friday, April 3, 2020 3:53 PM

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Houston food and nutrition team does so much more than feed patients and families

Shriners Hospitals for Children — Houston food and nutrition team does so much more than feed patients and families

The most amazing care anywhere at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Houston goes beyond medical expertise. When children are admitted to the hospital, the entire staff caters to their needs. There are different ways the staff can make children’s hospital stays less stressful, like they did for 12-year-old Yeremi.

Yeremi was admitted to the inpatient rehabilitation unit at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Houston in November of 2019, after receiving critical burn treatment at the Galveston Shriners Hospital. He spent two months in rehabilitation in Houston, and staff members, especially the food and nutrition team, got to know Yeremi and his mother very well.

“He was a picky eater, but the team here learned what he liked and didn’t like. They really went above and beyond for them, and they bonded with him in no time,” said Robin McIntosh, dietetic technician at the Houston Shriners Hospital.

Yeremi resumed long-term treatment in Galveston in January 2020, but came back for outpatient therapies in Houston. He continued to go back and forth between the two hospitals until March 2020. During one visit, his mother expressed that he was not eating much. That day, he ate his meal in Houston and the kitchen staff sent him off with additional packed meals for one week, as they had their own refrigerator to store the meals in Galveston.

McIntosh coordinated with Vanessa Flores, a regional finance manager who works in both the Houston and Galveston locations. She was introduced to Yeremi’s mother, and for the next month and half, the kitchen staff would prepare a week’s worth of meals for Yeremi, give them to Flores at the end of the day on Tuesday in Houston, and she would deliver them to Yeremi’s mother on Wednesday morning in Galveston.

“It was a pleasure meeting Yeremi, he is a very sweet kid. He was very caring and very grateful. He stole our hearts,” said Lucila German, food services worker.

Yeremi was expected to go back home to Mexico, but his stay was unexpectedly extended for another week. Estela, a Shriners Hospitals for Children — Houston cook, drove all the way to Galveston that last week and personally delivered his meals.

“For me it was very moving getting to know Yeremi, it was hard at first, but we won him over,” said Yeni Angel, food services worker. “I especially enjoyed helping him believe in Christmas again, and convincing him that Santa Claus was real. He came down to the cafeteria once and told me he did not believe in Santa Claus. I showed him the Santa tracker and explained to him where he was. On December 24, he said to me, 'If he really is real, I want him to come see me tomorrow.' The next day, Santa Claus came to see him in the inpatient unit.”

Yeremi is now back home in Mexico, thanks to the wonderful care he received at both Shriners Hospitals in Galveston and Houston. He is expected to return for follow-up treatment.