On August 31, 2009, I posted information on a website called CarePages. CarePages is a fantastic resource for:
- patients and their families to keep loved ones up to date on a patient’s progress
- loved ones to send a patient messages of encouragement
This morning, Richard Liechty, a co-worker, shared a similar site with me called CaringBridge. In recent months, he has been staying abreast on the conditions of a couple of loved ones via CaringBridge.
According to their website, CaringBridge was started in 1997 when “founder Sona Mehring’s close friend suffered a life-threatening pregnancy. To keep family and friends informed about the critical situation, Sona and friends created a website.
Baby Brighid was born almost three months premature. With her mother in critical condition, the one-pound preemie was quickly rushed to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital in St. Paul Minnesota. The family posted daily news about mom and Brighid on the website. An accompanying online guestbook enabled visitors to send the family messages of love and encouragement. Sadly, Brighid’s story does not have a happy ending. After a nine-day struggle against tremendous odds, she died in surgery.
The website allowed the family to convey the saddest of news without the painful burden of several emotional phone calls. The parents also had a place to post a final message to honor Brighid and their supportive online community.
Brighid’s death prompted an outpouring of loving messages to the family. They immediately understood that other patients dealing with the birth of a premature baby, childhood cancer or other critical illness would benefit from the same web resources.
And CaringBridge was born.”
A special “thank you” to Richard Liechty for sharing his experience with CaringBridge.com with me. Richard can be followed on Twitter @RichardLiechty.