BATON ROUGE, La. (NBC Local 33)(FOX 44) — More than 1,000 people showed up to celebrate the opening of Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital on Oct. 4.
““We know that children are not mini adults and that they need special equipment, special sized equipment, and they need specialists caring for them,” said Vice President of Patient Care Services, Laurie Schulenberg.
Fifth grader Daniyah Boler said specialized care has helped her through the roughest of moments. “When I get sick, it just makes me feel so happy that they’ve got people that tries (sic) to help me feel better,” said Boler.
The state-of-the-art facility has been under construction for more than three years and is visible off of I-10 east, just past Essen Lane.
The grand opening serves as a new chapter in the healthcare ministry’s 105 year history of service to the people of Louisiana.
“It will be an asset for the entire state of Louisiana,” said Governor John Bel Edwards, who was a guest speaker.
The $230 million project was made possible by a $55 million private capital campaign.
Christian Beauchamp, 22, was diagnosed with genetic blood disorder as an infant. “Since I was two weeks old, I had sickle cell disease,” said Beauchamp. “I’ve come to the St. Jude affiliate (in Baton Rouge) for probably once a month for almost 18 years.”
Beauchamp said he believes the new hospital presents a welcoming environment for kids dealing with the unknown. “I think it kind of creates a positive energy,” said Beauchamp, “It’s a little more comforting for children who are probably scared and uncomfortable to be here at first.”
The new hospital will treat children from throughout Louisiana, as well as Mississippi, Texas and Arkansas.