Stringing a story: Beads of Courage comfort families at MUSC

Chris O'Rourke (WCIV)

By Stacy

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Charlotte Edwards's son Legare, now 6, spent more than 100 days in the hospital when he was born. In case she forgets any step along the way, she and Legare have his Beads of Courage to remember for them.

Edwards introduced the program to Medical University Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit on Friday.

"Day by day there's so much that goes on," Edwards said. "You forget so many. I especially think from the child's standpoint, it's nice for them to touch and see their story."

"Mom can't always be with their baby. But they have something that represents their baby that they can hold on to when they go home at night," said Emily Wallace, a volunteer program specialist at MUSC Children's Hospital.

As parents strings their necklaces, they're picking out individual beads to represent different milestones in their children's treatments. For example, a yellow bead represents a night in the hospital and a red bead represents a transfusion.

Baby Trace and his mom Stefanie Lane are in the same NICU unit where Edwards sat with Legare six years ago. Trace was born 11 weeks premature.

"You're holding him. Everything is good. Next thing you know is he's changing color. You have to stimulate him," Lane said.

Over the course of 85 days in the hospital, Trace has been through countless procedures and surgeries. But once she makes her Beads of Courage, she'll know exactly how many.

And one day, she'll be able to string Trace along his own journey of survival -- bead by bead.

If you want to help with Beads of Courage, designate your donation to MUSC through the organization's website. You can also contact the volunteer office at MUSC Children's Hospital for more information.