Wednesday, February 22, 2017 1:13 PM

The Best Valentines

Life-changing burns
Valentine’s Day is the time we tell our loved ones how much they mean to us. For the Kazanjian family, this Valentine’s Day was not like all the rest. On Jan. 16, Derek Kazanjian suffered major burn injuries from an explosion on their family farm. Derek was brought to CRMC’s Leon S. Peters Burn Center and has undergone multiple surgeries in a long process to heal his burn injuries. Derek’s family, friends, and wife, Amber, have been by his side at the hospital to support and encourage him through his recovery process.  He has been unable to see his 4-year-old son Kason and 4-month-old daughter, Amber, for the past four weeks.

Time to see daddy
With recent progress in Derek’s recovery, staff arranged a reunification for Derek and Kason. Valentine’s Day set the stage for this memorable celebration. The burn center’s underwater-themed playroom was decked with red and pink hearts. With his card and heart-shaped balloon in hand, Kason waited eagerly in the playroom for his father to arrive. As the door opened, Kason's eyes lit up to see his father standing there and they embraced for the first time in 29 days. 

A day to remember
The playroom was filled with excited chatter as the family exchanged cards and gifts. In preparation for this Valentines party, Derek had enlisted the help of his aunt to select for him cards for Amber and Kason. Kason cheered as he opened his Paw Patrol themed card and named every character. The three shared quality family time making Valentine decorations to hang in Derek’s hospital room and catching up on recent events. Kason took delight in decorating Derek’s hospital gown with sparkly heart stickers. Time flew by and it was soon time for the celebration to come to an end. The family shared goodbye hugs and kisses, with Kason exclaiming, “This is the best Valentine’s Day ever!"

Thanks Burn Center Staff!
I am so proud of my staff and everyone who helped make this so special for the family. I also have to point out it is so important to have our Child Life Department to help Kason through this difficult time.

Child Life Department
Being at the hospital is stressful for everyone, especially children. The Child Life Department provides support for children, helping them understand their experience and feelings while they receive care at Community Regional Medical Center. They are dedicated to the emotional and developmental needs of children and families, empowering children with knowledge and coping strategies so they can face their hospital stay with understanding and confidence. Child life specialists promote healthy growth and development by providing opportunities for play. In providing family-centered care, child life specialists help facilitate adjustment and understanding for siblings and children of our patients.
Sandra Yovino
Director, Burn Services, CRMC 
Leon S. Peters Burn Center