'When my daughter Lindsay had her first child, of course it was great. But after about 3.5 months, something didn't seem right: Lindsay was observant and went to the family doctor, who sent her on. Naïma, as young as she was, turned out to have acute lymphatic leukemia and she was referred to the Princess Máxima Center. Periodically I went with my daughter and her baby and saw that the staff at the Máxima Center took very good care of her; the nurses were also extremely kind. In such a situation, that is also very important; there is already stress enough.
They were kind and sweet to the baby and they always try to make the treatments happen with as little stress as possible. The contact was also pleasant towards me as a grandmother, and I was given a cup of tea and a kind word in her room.
Mini hotel room
It was especially nice that my daughter Lindsay was able to stay with her baby. During admissions they desperately need each other's company: it is both reassuring and stress relieving for both of them. The sleeping area next to the child's room is extraordinary, looking a bit like a mini hotel room: sleeping area, TV, a small table to eat or write at, and a connecting door that can be blinded so as not to disturb the little one when she needs to sleep or rest.
Cooking your own meals in the living room
Around 1989, I had my own experience at the Radboudumc with my son. Fortunately, I was also able to stay with him then, sleeping in his room at night on a stretcher. That's how it was in those days. We parents would eat in the cafeteria. There was also a small room where parents could stay for a while and have a cup of coffee or tea. Now parents can order whatever they want to eat for a fee and stay with the child or in the room next door. The possibility of using the Ronald McDonald living room is also well arranged in the Máxima Center: parents can cook there themselves if they want, take a break by themselves or receive family so that the child can have a break.
Great knowledge and skill
If I summarize, I think the hospitality, friendliness of the Máxima Center and all the staff are important to mention, and last but not least: the great knowledge and skill present. For anyone reading this, I have one piece of advice: support the child's family as best you can. Try to stay positive. More and more is possible nowadays and the doctors will do everything to help, in consultation with the team around them. At the Máxima Center, that includes all the international contacts: they make sure they can learn a lot from each other and use this knowledge.'View all stories