Cary, NC – For family members staying with a child during a hospital stay, finding a place to sleep can be very difficult. But Dr. Allan Acton, owner of Cary Family Dental, donated a place for those families to get rest, now open at Duke University Hospital.
New Family Sleep Room
Acton gifted the renovated Family Room to Duke University Hospital’s Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, with the ribbon-cutting this past Friday, July 27, 2018.
The donation was inspired by Acton’s own experiences at Duke University Hospital. His son, Jack, was born with Heterotacy Syndrome and only had two chambers in his heart, which meant he needed several open-heart surgeries.
“We had to stay at the hospital for a number of nights. But in a hospital, the seating arrangements are not conducive to good sleep,” Acton said. “And in a noisy hospital, you are always being awakened and interrupted.”
Not only is sleep important to be comfortable, but Acton said parents need to be able to make decisions about their child’s medical care and that is difficult with no rest.
“We were given conferences with our doctor and as good as their advice was, it’s harder to make decisions without good sleep,” Acton said.
Now that the room is completed and active, Acton said he hopes more importance is placed on sleep in the future, as well as in the new 13-story tower addition to the hospital.
Getting Good Sleep
The newly renovated Family Room has two beds, a door with a lock and a white noise generator to help families sleep at night during their overnight stays.
“It’s close to the ICU so when your child is in there, you still feel close,” Acton said.
With so many endowments to the Duke University Hospital already, Acton said he wanted to use his donation to do something specific and, in his eyes, make a difference for families like his.
“I wanted to try and affect change and create an environment where parents feel they can sleep,” Acton said. “In talking with doctors, it has helped inspire other similar sleeping arrangements.”
Cary Family Dental is located at 1149 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Story by Michael Papich. Photos courtesy of Cary Family Dental.