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Iowa State University assistant teaching professor Katherine Rafferty.

Parents of medically fragile children and their kids could use help, understanding year-round

By The Conversation

December is a prime time to fundraise for children’s hospitals and other charities, as many people want to give back and help sick children throughout the holiday season. But for children who live with chronic health problems, their issues extend beyond the holidays. And, just as the kids have medical needs, their parents have needs too. Katherine Rafferty, an assistant teaching professor at Iowa State University, has spent seven years researching the needs of these parents, particularly mothers of children living with medical complexities. Rafferty contends that a critical unmet need is a system of helpful support for both parents and their children outside of the hospital setting.