Someone You Should Know: The Bismarcks Dedicate Their Nonprofit Organization To The Comfort Of Pediatric Patients

After a Bismarck family suffered a medical crisis with their 1-year-old, they found solace in familiar toys and books at an out-of-state hospital.

Since then, they have strived to provide the same comfort to families in North Dakota.

Brian and Sarah Dahl work or have worked in health care. Sarah is a former project manager at a children’s hospital and Brian is an orthopedic surgeon.

Although their background helped start their own non-profit organization, it was a scary experience in 2017 that led to it.

Their 13-month-old Vivia had a seizure, took a rescue flight to an out-of-state facility, and ultimately needed an emergency craniotomy.

“This was the pediatric unit’s playroom where I could go and get books from their shelves that we had at home on our shelf. Being able to read these stories to her with the familiarity of a book she already knows in an unfamiliar situation was really nice, ”Sarah said.

Vivia has since recovered and her parents founded The power of play in Bismarck.

“It’s really cool to see how she still remembers some of the toys she played with and when we bring these toys to others in the community she feels like a part of them,” he said. Brian said. “It’s not just part of her recovery, but part of her passing this story on to others.”

The mission is simple: to offer pediatric patients comfort through play.

It supplies toys, stuffed animals and books to the two hospitals in Bismarck and has expanded to clinics and surgery centers.

Power of Play started with the youngest patient and has grown ever since.

“Then [ages] five to 10, 10 to 12, 13. These kids sometimes just need a little distraction to distract themselves from whatever procedure it is, ”Brian explained.

Being on both sides of medical care, they understand how helpful it is for families to have access to items that make their children feel safe.

Brian said, “Even though I specialize in total hips and total knees, I still do a lot of pediatric and trauma work, so I interact with these kids who have medical issues quite often, and it’s fun. to see that we have a way to help them outside of our usual medical care.

“It helps them recover,” Sarah added, “it helps healthcare workers take care of themselves, it helps healthcare workers bond with them when they play and often get more. information of the child. “

This piece [see video above] at CHI St. Alexius was already designated for pediatrics, but Power of Play made it a little more welcoming.

The association has already done a lot and thanks the positive response it has received so far.

“Our community is so great,” said Brian. “That’s why we came back to North Dakota, that’s why it’s the largest state in the country. The community helped us. Everyone loves the idea of ​​improving health care in this way. So, it was deep for me to see the community move forward in this way and help support a charity like this. “

Sarah added, “We have a very generous community. I am very grateful for this.

Yet, they can do more with the help of others. People can donate money or items. Their website has a Amazon Wish List This will help Power of Play reach even more patients.

“My dream is to have toys, activities and games available at all levels of health care for pediatric patients in Bismarck and maybe even statewide,” Sarah said.

For the purpose of helping pediatric patients in Bismarck and possibly all over Peace Garden State… Brian and Sarah Dahl are people you should know.

Power of Play also strives to reach children from their first interaction with healthcare professionals, whether in an ambulance or at the doctor’s office.

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