How Dancing With the Knoxville Stars will help kids heal

How Dancing With the Knoxville Stars donations will help young children heal outside the hospital room

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Nurse Christy Hancock helped 4-year-old William and his parents after he came home from the hospital. Nurse Christy Hancock helped 4-year-old William and his parents after he came home from the hospital.
"It was terribly valuable to have them there to teach us what it was going to take to make the most important person in our life better," said Matt Hall, William's dad. "It was terribly valuable to have them there to teach us what it was going to take to make the most important person in our life better," said Matt Hall, William's dad.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - In just over two weeks, competitors will be hitting the dance floor for the sixth annual "Dancing With the Knoxville Stars."

While they're hoping to win and have fun, the real focus is on raising money for East Tennessee Children's Hospital.

All proceeds this year go to the Home Health program which helps young patients heal outside the confines of a hospital room.

Four-year-old William is a ball of energy. Like most boys his age, he loves to play, whether it's outside or inside with his family.

Just two months ago, he couldn't do any of that.

He was admitted to East Tennessee Children's Hospital with what doctors described as one of the worst cases they've ever seen of childhood pneumonia.

William received around the clock care - X-rays, antibiotics, even surgery and a chest tube.

After all that, he was back home in just two weeks thanks to Children's Home Health program. The final steps of his medical care are conducted at his house rather than a hospital room.

Home Health says getting children back home as soon as possible makes a big difference in recovery.

"It decreases the hospitalization, plus it helps the kids heal quicker because they're able to get back in their own environment and thrive a little bit better," said Home Health Nurse Christy Hancock.

Before they leave the hospital, home health nurses instruct the children's parents or caregivers on how to take care of them, stocking them with equipment and teaching them how to use it.

In William's case, Nurse Hancock taught his parents how to administer his IV antibiotics.

"It was terribly valuable to have them there to teach us what it was going to take to make the most important person in our life better," said Matt Hall, William's dad.

Then once a week, Hancock stopped in to change his dressings and collect lab work.

William's dad says being able to finish his recovery at home made such a difference in his morale. William was able to get better where he feels most comfortable.

"He was able to thrive at home instead of feel like he was bottled up in a room," said Hall.

Donations from Dancing With the Knoxville Stars will directly fund Children's Home Health program, including buying the disposable equipment that patients need every single day.

Home health nurses are on call 24 hours a day in case a family needs help providing care to their child.

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