Ryan House to celebrate its long awaited grand opening
Ryan House, the first children’s palliative care home in the Southwest, will celebrate its public grand opening on Saturday, March 27. The mission of Ryan House is to provide essential care in a home-like setting where children with life-threatening conditions and their families will come for respite and, as needed, end-of-life care.
Ryan House will be a valuable pediatric resource and will include eight rooms for children and three family suites offering quality short-term medical respite and palliative care. It will be a cheerful, home-like environment complete with comfortable common areas, an outside playground, a hydrotherapy room, and a soundproof music room. Ryan House will also offer family-focused activities including arts and crafts, pet and music therapy, advocacy, consultation as well as emotional and spiritual support. Additionally, Ryan House will provide Sibshop® workshops, allowing siblings to meet, talk and gain support with other kids whose brothers and sisters have similar needs.
The doors of Ryan House will be open to children diagnosed with life-threatening conditions who are currently cared for at home. Ryan House will be a place where families can bring their terminally ill children to stay independently, while receiving excellent care coordinated by their own physicians and administered by highly-trained staff. Knowing their children are in good hands, parents can take short breaks from the emotionally and physically exhausting round-the-clock care their children require at home. For parents who often feel so isolated from the rest of the world, this small gift of time with no responsibilities is not a luxury – it’s a necessity.
The concept of Ryan House was brought to Phoenix by Holly and Jonathan Cottor whose youngest son, Ryan, was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a genetic motor neuron disease resulting in severe weakness, while the Cottors were living in London. Having no family support system close by and feeling overwhelmed by their situation, they were referred to Helen House in London, the first children’s palliative care home in the world. Helen House allowed the Cottor family to experience the value of family-focused respite care and provided them with the proper support services to cope with Ryan’s diagnosis and care needs.
Upon their return to Arizona in 2003, the Cottors committed themselves to establishing a similar children’s palliative care program in Arizona to enable families the kind of care and support they received at Helen House. In 2004, Ryan House, an Arizona 501 (c)(3) non profit organization was established, turning their pioneering concept into a reality.
“The development of Ryan House would not have been possible without the exceptional support from our community partners,” said Holly Cottor. “Just as our family was so fortunate to receive the family-focused care at Helen House, we hope R