Berges Success Story:

Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital

A Perfectly-Timed Gift

Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital is one of only a few children’s transitional hospitals in the nation. Ranken Jordan may be the only true bridge hospital – meaning the children and young adults with complex medical needs cared for at Ranken Jordan transition home with the skills and knowledge needed to function in the outside world.

Just because a child with a disability or an illness is ready to be discharged from an acute hospital does not mean he or she is ready to go home. As a matter of fact, it can be quite the opposite at times. When diagnosed with a new condition, especially a chronic illness or severe disability, the child and family often need a bridge between the hospital and home. That’s where Ranken Jordan comes in.

Ranken Jordan helps these children, up to age twenty-one, by providing the comprehensive well-rounded care they need to heal and thrive.

They make sure every detail is handled from the moment a child is considered a candidate at the acute hospital to post-hospital home care and outpatient physical therapy. The staff and volunteers even take away the stress of having to navigate the insurance challenges so the families can focus on helping their child get better and get home.

New Addition to the Facility

Every aspect of Ranken Jordan’s care is designed to help children successfully transition from hospital to home. That includes every inch of their stimulating and technologically-advanced 60-bed facility. A seven-year dream to expand to help more children finally became a reality in February 2018, thanks to The Berges Family Foundation. The expansion includes a rock climbing wall, a baseball diamond, and the nation’s first outdoor patient area and nurses station.

And little did the Berges family know their timing was life-changing for a young girl who was able to come to the facility in March thanks to the new wing.

A Life-Changing Gift

In February 2018, Christa Goers, 18, was thrown from her car in a horrific accident. She was air-lifted to the hospital with death knocking on her door as the femoral artery in her leg was severed. She had massively broken and shattered bones and a multitude of head and other injuries.

During her five weeks in the ICU, she lost her right leg, remained in a coma for weeks, and had dozens of surgeries all over her body. She came to find depression and frustration a part of her daily struggle, but she was also tenacious and energetic and just wanted to go home. Her mom, Cyndi Quick, knew going home might not be the next step.

Cyndi had volunteered at Ranken Jordan in high school and reached out to them to see if Christa was a candidate for their help. They set the wheels in motion, and thanks to the newly built Berges Family Foundation Adolescent Center, they were able to accept her versus adding her to a waitlist.

In fewer than three months at Ranken Jordan, Christa went from nearly bed-ridden to learning how to walk with her new prosthesis. Surrounded by a playful environment and encouraging caregivers, she learned how to continue loving her life and family, just like life before the accident.

“The best thing about Ranken Jordan is the positive environment,” Christa says. “It’s night and day from a regular hospital. Everyone at Ranken is so nice. They all know your name and know your needs. They’re always in a good mood and make you feel loved. They’re very focused on each patient and make living there fun and uplifting. They helped me realize it was okay to be upset – they encouraged me to feel what I needed to feel and then move on. They made it easy to get to the next level of my care by being so supportive and keeping me active. They have music and art therapy, lots of recreational things to do like riding bikes and going to a café within the building. The patients at Ranken become friends and support each other too. They have fun activities like movie nights and a teenage lounge and live music.

“They came to our house,” Christa continues, “and worked with outside companies to prepare our house for my disability. They also coached me and my family so when it was time to go home, it was easy. I still go to Ranken for physical therapy and love seeing everyone when I’m there. I look forward to it and will probably end up volunteering when I’m ready. I am so glad I went to Ranken Jordan. If I had gone home straight from the hospital my life would be totally different. I don’t know where I’d be without them.”

Helping More Children

According to Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Nicholas Holekamp, Ranken Jordan is able to fulfill its dream of being able to provide more hope and more healing, thanks to the Berges family. “The timing of the Berges family’s gift was during a make-or-break moment for our growth,” Dr. Holekamp explains. “We are so grateful that we can take in more children. We want people to know that we are here and we are a wonderful resource in the St. Louis community for newborns up to the age of twenty-one and their families. Our goal is whole patient and family care during such a life-altering, difficult time.”

In Need of Volunteers

Ranken Jordan is heavily volunteer-based and needs more volunteers to help with the increase in patients. No medical background is required. They also rely heavily on financial support from the community to help their young patients bridge the gap between what’s considered “medically necessary” care by insurance and what is actually needed for care, like transport, therapies, home visits, and whole family care.

If you would like to learn more and help children as a volunteer or with financial assistance, please consider the life-changing difference you can make and reach out to Ranken Jordan today. It’s all about encouraging each other to make this world a better place, especially for those who can’t do it alone. Help Ranken Jordan transition kids from hospital to home and change their world.