A Rosie Place is a unique facility that offers aid and support for medically fragile children. Tieal Bishop dreamt of a place where children felt welcome, safe, and cared for while giving the parents an opportunity to find reliable and trustworthy care when needed. And with the funds they raise, they are able to provide all of this at no cost to the families.
Tieal and the staff at Rosie Place build strong bonds with these families so for many kids, this is a second home where they feel safe and loved.
“We not only ask about the medication or the ventilation setting or the drip feeding or whatever it might be, we ask them, ‘Can they run in the sprinkler? Could they take a bubble bath? Can they get in the clay and in the paint and get dirty? Are you okay with all that?’ And it’s so awesome to hear the mom say, ‘You know, everywhere I’ve ever gone, everywhere else, always asks me about the medical part, but they never ask me about my child.'”
Echo: All right, little lady, you’re off. Make sure we have food. There we go. Put this in here. She’s all set.
Come here, bud. You be good, OK?
Echo: Love you.
Spencer: Love you.
Echo: Do you want to give your brother a hug? Well, give him a hug. Don’t beat him up. You gotta bend down. There you go. Good job. Good job.
Heather: So I am very excited to see this little kiddo, which he should be arriving soon.
Hi, how are you?
Kasey’s Mom: I’m good, thanks.
Heather: Hi buddy. How are you? Are you ready? All right. I’m going to go take your stuff in and then mom’s going to be out here. Get you ready, and then you can come in. Yes. Okay.
Abby: Hey, we gotta get everything. You want to help me? We’re going in.
Tieal Bishop: A medically fragile child is one that requires medical intervention for just everyday living, and so that really simplifies it. So they might have a medication that not everybody could give, or they’re on a piece of equipment that somebody has to manage. So not anybody can just take care of these children. This is really left up to the parents, and it’s 24/7, 365 days a year, and that’s a lot. That’s taxing. So we said we’ve got to create something. Right? And so you’re standing in and you’re looking at what we dreamt.
Heather: There we go. Vroom! Say, “Beep, beep. Hello!”
Echo: There you go. Good job. Good job.
Yolanda: Good morning. Hi.
Tieal: I created this space — really A Rosie Place was the vision of a mom. I have six children and four dogs, 12 chickens, and a bearded dragon. So my son was born, he had a medical condition right away at birth when we were home taking care of Max, it was very isolating. You didn’t have a lot of friends. He never got asked for a sleepover in all of his days. So those things, I think, resonate today at A Rosie Place because of the experience that I had.
Okay, here we go.
(Talking to a child staying at A Rosie Place) Hey, are you smiling yet?
Sometimes it’s the first time a child has ever been away from home and they could be 10, 12, 15 years old, and so, it’s quite an experience for them to come in and try to absorb all that’s going on. And at the same time, the family’s feeling a little unsure.
Heather: Do you want to say goodbye to him?
Kasey’s Mom: I do. Yeah.
Heather: You can definitely do that.
Tieal: We not only ask about the medication or the ventilation setting or the drip feeding or whatever it might be, we ask them, “Can they run in the sprinkler? Could they take a bubble bath? Can they get in the clay and in the paint and get dirty? Are you okay with all that?” And it’s so awesome to hear the mom say, “You know, everywhere I’ve ever gone, everywhere else, always asks me about the medical part, but they never ask me about my child.”
Kasey’s Mom: It was a little bit scary for me, but the house is so welcoming. It doesn’t even look like a hospital. Yeah, the fish tank. Yeah, he loves that. And all the fun light up toys. He loves that.
Kasey has Down syndrome and autism along with a new diagnosis of atlantoaxial instability. So he wears a neck brace to keep his cervical spine steady and stable until they can do surgery, until his bones get a little bit bigger where they can do surgery.
Reid: Can you rub your hands together?
Tieal: Creating this space for medically fragile children and their families, for them to have a place to go has been the most rewarding work. It’s a unique relationship that they end up building. And children come back now time after time, and we hear families say, “Sometimes when our children pull up, they just get all excited. They know where they’re going.” And we know we’re on the right track if they’re doing that.
So just like you would be at home, right, a lot of families, they’re not hanging out or staying in their bedrooms. So unlike a hospital, also, the kids don’t stay in their rooms.
Abby: Where are you going now?
Tieal: Hi, Savanna.
Producer Kevin: Savanna has a bunch of artwork in her whole bedroom.
Tieal: Does she? Did you? Oh, cool.
We create so much art that we’re actually going to build an art studio in the backyard. It just really means a lot to families to be able to have those treasures. And even to the kids themselves, they feel good about, “Hey, I get to finally bring something home. I get to create something for mom and dad or my sister.” And that becomes a really big deal.
Yolanda: I am just getting food ready for one of the kiddos. Okay, so I need to see your tummy. Can I see your tummy, please? You did it. It’s going. See, it’s going. All done. Can I get a high five? Can I get a high five?
Tieal: We’ve had moms who’ve needed surgery. Right? That’s not just a break to go to the movies. That’s a needed, necessary surgery, and they had no one to watch their child. So we had the privilege of being able to bring a child here for 10 days at a time, let that mom have surgery and recuperate.
Heather: The parents get a break. They get to be a little worry free, even if it’s just the day. If they’re here for a day stay or overnight. They can call whenever they want.
Yolanda: Oh, you’re good with that.
Yolanda: And she’s like, “And off I go.” Off we go.
Tieal: The reality is this — if you want to go to the movies, you’re not going to be able to afford a $50 or $60 an hour nurse to watch your child so you can do that. So what happens? You just don’t go to the movies. So we have families that haven’t been able to go on a date in five years. So we work really hard as an organization and a foundation to be able to create and raise the funds that are needed in order for these children to come stay at no cost to families.
Reid: That’s nice. Oh.
Heather: They know when they’re here, they’re safe. They’re well taken care for. This is their other home. So I definitely feel that they know that they’re loved here.
Kasey’s Mom: Sometimes it’s hard, I guess, for a mom to let go of her kid. But yeah, it’s so nice when I get back into my car after dropping him off. When I pull away, it just feels like, oh, I just have this time, this freedom kind of for a while. And then just knowing that he’s safe. In a safe place, for sure.
Producer Kevin: Yeah, that’s great.
Yolanda: I’ll see you next time. Okay?
Echo: Can you blow kisses? Oh, you’re giving hugs?
Yolanda: Hugs. Thank you. Hugs. Where am I going? Am I coming with you?
Yolanda: Aw. Am I coming with you? Aw.
Producer Kevin: Have you ever had a chance to kind of reflect on what you’ve done? Are you proud of yourself?
Tieal: Now you’re going to make me teary. Yeah. Yeah. Sorry. I didn’t think about that much. Usually you’re into the work and you’re doing the next thing, and you don’t stop and celebrate too often. But I’m proud. I’m real proud of all of us. We’ve done a good thing here and I know it. I always brag about what we do, and I always admit I’m biased, no doubt about it. But it’s exceptional work that hasn’t been done before. So proud? Yeah, I’m proud.