IOWA CITY — With binkie hidden behind a small surgical mask, Gavin Mower pointed out the window of one of 130 patient rooms in the new University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

“He’s 18 months,” Amanda Paulsen, 35, of Davenport, said Saturday morning while touring the new $360 million facility — along with thousands of others.

“So he’ll be here, admitted to this hospital, for the rest of his life,” she said, while holding Gavin in a carrier on her chest and pushing an IV pole attached to him. “He’s not even going to know the old hospital. He’s just going to think this is the only thing there ever was.”

Born with cystic fibrosis, Gavin has spent much of his 18 months on the university campus.

“It’s part of life — it’s what he knows,” Paulsen said. “But the funness, the newness, the colors. In the elevator we rode up, he was looking at the colors already.”

“Puppy,” chirped Gavin’s tiny muffled voice — referencing a decoration he saw in the lobby.

“Oh yeah, there were puppies downstairs,” Paulsen affirmed.

Four years ago, crews broke ground on the 507,000-square-foot facility rising 14 stories — including two underground and four on top with an idyllic view into neighboring Kinnick Stadium. And over the weekend thousands of members of the public — including employees, patients and families — got their first look at the state-of-the-art center equipped with technology and physicians capable of treating the sickest kids in Iowa, the nation and the world.

 

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To take a virtual tour of the new University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital click here

 

 

Publication Source: 
Cedar Rapids Gazette