Kathy Hull: Stories from a home for terminally ill children
Kathy Hull - Pediatric psychologist
Kathy Nicholson Hull founded the first freestanding pediatric palliative care center in the US. Full bio
very wise kids that I've known,
to introduce you to a camel.
visiting one of our young patients
at his ranch in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
horses were too mundane.
have been such good friends
to shuttle those sweet furry beasts
from time to time.
life expectancy of 40 to 50 years.
of the children with whom I work
of the George Mark Children's House,
palliative respite care center
that so many children experienced
were at the end of their lives,
rumbled overhead on its track,
with each passing train car.
were fluorescent and too bright.
moments of their lives,
to have a more peaceful place
to their young daughters and sons.
than a hospital intensive care unit
can stay together
over a span of many years.
noisy quarters of the hospital,
for the families,
for children with physical limitations.
from a hospital intensive care unit.
that Lars had a brain anomaly
he had for survival,
to focus on the quality of time
one of our family apartments
with our aquatic therapist
since Lars was with us,
children's hospice care can create.
was well managed,
to be together in a beautiful place.
who have our own children,
the injustice of losing them.
to come for care
that she might live another two weeks.
accessories that she loved,
of every staff member.
the "George Mark bump,"
the prognoses of their illnesses
often to accommodate her requests,
spent lots of cozy time with Crystal.
for about a week,
soon arrived from out of town,
four months of Crystal's life
was outside in her wheelchair
of the year earlier in a hospital bed,
because of the activities
created for her.
for everybody in the house.
to help decorate for Halloween.
planning her tenth birthday,
thought she would ever see.
in crime, Charlie, greeted me.
a lemonade and cookie stand
of the cookie that I had selected,
for one cookie.
forever impacted mine.
is shortened by a horrific illness
that Crystal received
respite and hospice care
from our healthcare landscape.
of a hospital intensive care unit,
that we're doing.
pediatric hospices in the United States,
that based on our model,
under various stages of development.
who die in the United States every year
under those harsh, institutional lights
the population of the United States,
of the state of California,
obviously many times.
with our positive can-do attitude
that our medical care system will fix it,
for which there is no cure.
to keep children alive
that we might give them
for many hospital physicians
about saving lives,
to the end of life.
for whom we cared at the end of her life
to help you bring an infant into the world
at George Mark?
that bring our young patients to us
have often been restricted,
for long periods of time,
of chemotherapy or rehab.
of ignoring those limitations.
for another baseball season
put on by the staff and kids
playing a piano piece with his feet,
a boutonniere on his son's tuxedo lapel.
the staff or the kids.
delightful teenaged girls,
of my whole life."
to be 85 years or just eight.
that death doesn't exist
most uncompromising bravery
About the speaker:Kathy Hull - Pediatric psychologist
Kathy Nicholson Hull founded the first freestanding pediatric palliative care center in the US.
Why you should listen
With her pioneering spirit and tenacious nature, Dr. Kathy Hull recognized an unmet need in the provision of services to children with incurable medical conditions. Working in a traditional medical environment at a prominent children's hospital, with its emphasis on curative treatment, Hull realized the necessity for a more supportive medical model, and setting, for children at the end of their lives. Her research of pediatric care modalities convinced her that a well-established prototype of pediatric palliative care existed throughout Europe and could be replicated here.
Acting as an architect for creative change, Hull navigated the labyrinth of permits and approvals, as well as managed the design and building of the George Mark Children's House (GMCH). The House opened in 2004 in San Leandro, California, where it's set on five beautifully landscaped acres. Since opening its doors, more than twelve hundred children and their families have been lovingly cared for by the staff of GMCH. Additionally, George Mark has served as the role model for sixteen other entities currently under development throughout the United States. Presently, Dr. Hull is the staff Psychologist and President of the Board of GMCH, as well as being an adjunct staff member at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland.
Among the honors Hull has received for her philanthropy and humanitarianism are Maria Shriver’s Minerva Award; Traditional Home Magazine Classic Woman Award Purpose Prize Fellow and Jefferson Award. She is also a Regent Emeritus of Santa Clara University. Hull and her husband Bill reside in the San Francisco Bay Area and are proud parents of eight offspring and have eight delightful grandchildren.
Kathy Hull | Speaker | TED.com