Texas Children’s to host first annual candle lighting ceremony

October 23, 2018

Texas Children’s Palliative Care Team (PACT) will host the first annual Candle Lighting Ceremony to honor the memories of sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and grandchildren gone too soon from this world.

The event will be held at the University of Houston’s Student Center South on Sunday, December 9, in conjunction with the Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting Day, which unites family and friends around the globe in lighting candles for one hour at 7 p.m. in memory of children who have passed away.

All families whose children died and were patients at Texas Children’s Hospital are invited to attend the ceremony. There will be free parking, refreshments and childcare (for event attendees only, not for volunteers and staff working the event) for children 10 and under.

Families whose children passed away in the past three years received an invitation in the mail. There is also a Facebook event to invite families whose children passed away prior to 2016. Please share the Facebook event to spread the word. We want as many families to hear about the ceremony as possible. You can find the event on Facebook here or by searching “Texas Children’s Annual Candle Lighting Ceremony 2018.” Families must register to attend the event. To do so, they can go here.

Texas Children’s staff are needed to help plan the ceremony and volunteer to help the day of the event. If you are interested in volunteering, please click here.

“Losing a child is devastating and takes a toll on the whole family,” said Taryn Schuelke, the grief and bereavement specialist with the Palliative Care team. “We hope this ceremony will provide a healthy outlet of remembrance for families grieving the loss of their child, and to begin to heal from the pain and sadness they are going through.”

The Pediatric Advanced Care Team (PACT) is an interdisciplinary team comprised of Attending Physicians, Physicians in Training, a Nurse, Chaplain, Social Worker, Grief and Bereavement Specialist, Nurse Practitioner, Research Coordinator and Administrators who work together to provide excellent Palliative Care to patients and their families across the Texas Children’s Institution.

The team is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to provide care in either the inpatient or outpatient setting in partnership with other healthcare providers. The team also supports staff. Just last year, the program earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Palliative Care Certification, making Texas Children’s Palliative Care Program the first of its kind in Houston and one of only 90 across the United States to receive such a distinction. To learn more about the team, click here.