The first thing that visitors see when they arrive on the 5th floor of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center is not much at all – an elevator lobby, white walls and linoleum. It’s a place to walk to and from and nothing more. The revitalization of this small space will be the catalyst for efforts to transform the entire current “Main Hospital” into San Jose’s first Women and Children’s Center… all thanks to a little girl named Nora.
Nora was born on December 11, 2009, in San Francisco. “Within months, she was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. Because of her diagnosis, she became very experienced in hospital visits and longer stays. She passed away on November 22, 2013, in Palo Alto.
Her parents, Thomas and Claire, were Nora’s greatest champions, and since her passing have become fierce advocates for hospital safety and children’s health issues.
With the support of family, friends and co-workers, Thomas and Claire created a fund at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation to honor Nora’s memory. That effort brought them to VMC for the first time, and to the bland elevator lobby on the 5th floor.
Understanding the need for families to have safe and engaging spaces to visit during their hospital stay, they proposed a small library area for kids to read books with their parents. It was an idea close to their hearts.
“Nora especially loved reading books,” shared Thomas. “We hope the space will offer an escape from the hospital setting for children and their families. We want it to be a place where patients can read books alone or with their parents. They can have a quiet spot outside their rooms to relax.”
Soon, when visitors arrive on the 5th floor, they’ll be greeted by a warm, welcoming space filled with books and cozy places to sit and read. The library will be a fulcrum for a remodeled lobby and hallway, outdoor patio and a small, multi-purpose room that will preview a grander transformation of the entire 5th floor and building. The family and patient experience will be permanently altered, all for the better.
It’s a fitting legacy for Nora that will benefit VMC families for decades.
To learn more, visit www.imaginevmc.org.