Five years ago this month, Crescent Cove became the third children’s respite and hospice home in the United States to open its doors and welcome families of children with shortened life expectancies. This was the culmination of years of organizing, advocating, fundraising, and building a community of supporters who helped make our Home a reality.
One of the first families we served was that of Lizzie Gold. Lizzie was the second of four children born to Emily and Dave. Within days of arriving, Lizzie was diagnosed with Pallister Killian Syndrome, a chromosomal anomaly. She spent a month in the NICU before coming home — doctors told her family to make her comfortable and enjoy their short time with her. Despite doctors’ predictions, Lizzie survived.
“Lizzie could turn your whole day around with a grin or a giggle,” says Mom Emily. “She was wise and taught us all so many things that we never would have learned without her.”
Finding a Home at Crescent Cove
Once Crescent Cove opened in 2018, Lizzie began coming to the Home for respite care. “When Lizzie was receiving respite care, we were able to focus on our other children instead of dividing our time,” Emily explains. “Lizzie needed several checks during the night. It was a newborn sleep schedule for 8 years and we were exhausted. Knowing that caring and loving professionals were doing her bath, meds, and her stretches was such a relief.”
“Parenting, loving, navigating life with a child like Lizzie is heartbreakingly difficult. The world wasn’t made for her. We didn’t fit into a ‘normal’ family mold. Crescent Cove was made for her, for us. At Crescent Cove, we found a home.”
At age 8, during one of many hospitalizations in Lizzie’s short life, her condition took a turn for the worse. The family could not move her because they needed the hospital’s resources should she recover. Unfortunately, Lizzie did not improve and she passed away at the hospital. “We wished we had been at Crescent Cove,” Emily says. “Her siblings needed room to decompress and run around. We needed more family time. It could have been less traumatic.”
The family was able to have a special vigil at Crescent Cove to honor Lizzie and later placed a brick in the memorial walkway at the Home. They are frequent guests of family events at the Home and return frequently to visit and honor Lizzie.
“Crescent Cove fills a desperate need that I hope no one else ever has, a place for your child to die,” says Emily. “It’s unbearably sad…and it’s necessary. Families like mine need the support of Crescent Cove.”