Osaka — Inspired by a Scottish nurse and charity worker, Japan’s first hospice for children has finally opened up in Osaka.
The facility, part of Yodogawa Christian Hospital, will provide a comfortable space for children aged 15 and under with lifelimiting illnesses. There are 12 private rooms, where children and their families can stay, and bright, spacious rooms where they can study and play.
The facility was inspired by the work of Sister Frances Dominica, who set up a similar facility called Helen House in the UK in 1982. Sister Dominica, who is a friend of Empress Michiko, visited Yodagawa hospital back in 2007. She talked with officials about setting up a hospice in Japan then, after learning that around 7,350 children could benefit from such a facility. There are now plans to create more hospices, in Kobe and Kanagawa prefecture.