Holli Pruitt is an adult volunteer at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas. As of April, she has contributed over 900 hours. Children’s Medical Center (CMC) is a 322-bed nonprofit state-of-the-art pediatric center for North Texas, a teaching hospital whose mission is making life better for children regardless of their ability to pay. Children’s treats 200,000 annually; projected 1998, Children’ s provided 27.5 million dollars in charity care.
In a true sense, Holli’s volunteering at Children’s was a “coming home” experience. She was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor at the age of three. And thus began her relationship with CMC which extends today. She still battles side effects from the medical treatment she received over 18 years ago. Before her brain tumor was diagnosed, she was bright, happy, and energetic and took great pride in memorizing Bible verses for her Sunday school class. And she still does these things today despite academic struggles due to the radiation treatment. Though she is 21, she is a freshman at Collin County Community College and has had to enroll in special education classes since 3rd grade. Holli suffers from a growth hormone deficiency so her physical appearance is much younger than her actual age.
Holli knows the fright of surgery, of painful recovery, and life changing after affects. Consequently, she received the respect of staff and volunteers as one who has earned the right to speak. Because of her relationship with Children’s, Holli decided to volunteer at the hospital. She said it was her way to “give back.” Throughout the past seven years, this self -disciplined, motivated young lady has left her friends and home during her summers, weekends, and holiday breaks, to befriend patients at Children’s, commuting over 40 miles round trip.
Holli has demonstrated flexibility and a positive attitude in working in a variety of departments in the Medical Center. She has observed many difficult situations including infants who have been abused, children with birth defects and kids recovering from serious accidents. Holli has spent many hours restocking and pricing candy in the gift shop. She has spent countless shifts filing charts and assembling patient packets. She has made flower, balloon and candy deliveries. She has helped the staff, by providing both clerical and patient support.
After working allover the hospital, she found her favorite spot to be “sitting” with patients whose parents cannot be at the hospital with their children. Sitters care for the patients by feeding them, changing diapers, bathing, and comforting them. Holli is a trusted volunteer “sitter” and has spent time with patient’s ages 3 days to 8 years old.