Duke Children’s Hospital gets new home, bringing more comfort to families

Durham County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Construction on Duke Health’s new tower began in 2017. The $265 million project has 11 floors, including four dedicated to pediatric patients.

After years of building, the new Duke Children’s hospital is in full operation.

Daxton Stewart and his mother have spent three weeks at Duke Hospital so far. The 5-year-old has X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy, or X-ALD. The rare disorder requires a stem cell transplant.

“We’re here basically trying to save his life,” said his mom, Stefanie Stewart.

They’re from Virginia but Duke Hospital is one of only two hospitals in the country that can do this procedure. Stewart has two other children who are at home with her husband.

Daxton is also diagnosed with Down Syndrome.

“We’ve had our ups and downs but I think he’s kept a pretty good attitude through all of this,” said Stewart.

Their temporary home at the hospital was cramped, to say the least, with hardly enough space for Daxton to stretch his legs or his mom to get ready in the morning.

But this weekend was moving day.

Hospital staff carefully moved 150 pediatric patients to the new Duke Children’s.

“It took, I would say, exquisite coordination to make sure we were keeping patients safe along the journey,” said Mary Martin, chief operating officer for Duke Hospital.

There’s a new activity room and designated family zones.

The new rooms are twice as big with enough space for in-room physical therapy and schooling. New furniture is multipurpose.

Plus, there are two televisions so parents have the option to watch something different than their children are watching. Most of all, there’s room to personalize and make the room their own. Stewart has already put up some holiday decor.

“To have a more of a home-life feel in the room is wonderful for him and I really think that’s going to be beneficial for him going forward,” Stewart said.

Duke hopes it’ll be beneficial for everyone.

“I just really hope it provides the healing environment for not only the patients but for the families as well,” said Martin.

While Stewart’s family is on their way to healing, she tells other parents in the same situation this: “You gotta trust the process and hope for the best.”

Before the move of pediatric patients, adults from the oncology, transplant, orthopedics, and neurosciences units were moved.

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