Ryan House offers Scottsdale respite for those facing the impossible

A recent adaptive baseball family event at Miracle League of Arizona Scottsdale at 11130 E. Cholla St. (Submitted photo)

When a family is faced with the impossible scenario of a child’s life-limiting medical diagnosis there is a place they can turn: Ryan House.

Named after Ryan Cottor, the Ryan House effort is a place where the impossible scenarios are met with meaningful experiences that matter, giving families the environment they need during times of immeasurable personal struggle.

“Ryan House provides family respite services and end-of-life care to Arizona children with life-limiting conditions from diagnosis through death, easing pain and suffering while improving quality of life for the entire family,” said Ryan House Executive Director Alyssa Crockett.

“A national leader in pediatric palliative care, we are the only facility of its kind in Arizona and one of two in the country. Ryan House is about caring for children with life-limiting conditions and their families when medicine has done all it can do.”

Ryan House was inspired by Helen House, a similar effort in England that served as a safe haven for the Cottor family as they learned of the benefit of pediatric palliative care facing Ryan’s spinal muscular atrophy diagnosis.

A definition of the kind of care rendered at Ryan House seeks to be care embracing physical, emotional, social and spiritual elements.

“Ryan House meets a critical gap in care and is a lifeline for medically fragile children in Scottsdale and throughout Maricopa County facing a terminal or life-limiting journey,” Ms. Crockett points out. “In addition to the world-class care it provides, Ryan House ends the isolation these kids and families experience in the home and comforts them at the most difficult time in their lives.”

The Scottsdale Charros recently provided Ryan House with a $10,000 grant to help provide for therapeutic activities and help fuel an adaptive baseball family event at Miracle League of Arizona Scottsdale, 11130 E. Cholla St.

“The support of the Charros and the Phoenix community is mission critical to Ryan House,” Ms. Crockett explains. “No family is ever charged for our services and there is presently no insurance reimbursement. Ryan House is 100 percent community funded.”

For 56 years the Scottsdale Charros have been in constant pursuit of improving the lives of Scottsdale residents while preserving the community’s ties to its western heritage.

“Life-enhancing therapeutic activities are the cornerstone of our Child Life Program,” Mr. Crockett said of the how grant dollars fuel the Ryan House mission.

“These activities are an integral part of the respite, palliative, and end-of-life stays at Ryan House. Our Certified Child Life Specialist, Kristen, and our Certified Nursing Assistants, with the support of over 100 trained volunteers, provide the activities in specially-designed rooms that maximize the benefits offered. Children are engaged in these activities — customized for their age, illness, and developmental level — almost every waking moment every day of each of their respite stays.”

Ryan House is a place like no other offering a 12,500-square-foot home built to provide respite care, pediatric palliative care, and end-of-life care as well as appropriate therapies and activities in a supportive, home-like setting, officials there illustrate.

“Ryan House meets a critical gap in care and is a lifeline for Arizona children and families facing a terminal or life-limiting journey. In addition to the world-class care it provides, Ryan House ends the isolation these kids and families experience in the home and comforts them at the most difficult time in their lives,” said Jason Meszaros, a Scottsdale Charro who offered his sponsorship to the latest grant offered to Ryan House.

“Ryan House does amazing work that is not being done anywhere else in the Southwest. Ryan House is about caring for children with life-limiting conditions and their families when medicine has done all it can do.”

Go to ryanhouse.org.

Independent Newsmedia Arizona Managing Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at tthornton@newszap.com

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