Four-year-old Sultan came to CHOP from the Middle East with his parents in the summer of 2011.
After tests in his native country detected a malignant brain tumor, two surgeries there were unsuccessful in removing the entire growth.
“He was confident — and that made us confident,” says Sultan’s father. Storm was able to remove the tumor completely.
During the months the family spent in Philadelphia, the International Patient Services (IPS) team was with them every step of the way — facilitating Sultan’s many appointments, providing language services, and lending advice on housing, shopping and countless other day-to-day needs.
“The cultural sensitivity of caring for these families is incredible,” says Ruth Frey, MSN, CPNP, clinical manager for IPS. Frey works to develop relationships not only with the governments and institutions of other countries, but with each family that comes to CHOP.
“I can’t imagine what it’s like to travel here with an incredibly sick child, to not speak the language, and to have to stay six to 12 months," she adds. "Families need to feel secure in all ways.”
Every day, Frey and the rest of the IPS team provide that sense of security to many international families, offering the help, information and friendship that make Philadelphia — and CHOP — feel a bit more like home.
Originally posted: January 2013