Letters to the Editor

Children’s hospital plan derailed

When our grandson was 10 months old, he contracted a virulent form of spinal meningitis. He was at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Seattle for three weeks.

Had it not been for the excellent care he received from the skilled medical team there, he would not be alive today. Over the more-than-100 years of Children’s existence, there have been thousands of stories such as ours.

Now, the hospital’s need to expand has become a serious situation. Children’s is at capacity, and has been for some time. More beds will accommodate the increasing numbers of children who wish to come there for treatment. In the recent past, some 80 children have been turned away because there were no beds for them.

Children’s is the only full-service hospital in a four-state area. Growing populations in Alaska, Idaho, Montana and Washington badly need a facility on which their very sick children can depend.

The staff at Children’s Hospital has worked diligently with community groups for more than two years to create a master plan acceptable to all concerned. They succeeded. However, various lawsuits and a decision by a Seattle hearing examiner have delayed construction of the much-needed space.

According to projections, the hospital needs to grow to a total of 336 beds by 2013.

Unless construction begins now, we could be faced with turning up to 80 children away each day. What a tragedy that would be.

Bill and Mary Godejohn

Fall City

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