Taking care of a sick family member is no easy feat and can even affect people who seem to have herculean mental and physical strength. The stress of the unknown and sleepless nights is enough to take its toll on anyone. Brandi Ellis, who owns Bellis Therapeutic Spa in Farmington, knows this all too well.
Ellis, who is not only a business owner but also the mother of two young children, knows what it’s like to feel as though there are not enough hours in the day, let alone when the role of caregiver gets tacked onto the laundry list of other responsibilities. She became her father’s caregiver after he had a kidney transplant and admits that at times, the dizzying amount of hospital trips that spanned the course of several months almost became too much for her to handle. Thankfully, after endless long days and nights, she finally began to see the light at the end of the tunnel as her father’s condition began to improve.
After surviving one of the most trying times in her life, Ellis came up with an idea that would fill a need within her community and on February 26, Ellis and three staff members provided free facials and chair massages to parents with children at Children’s Hospital of Michigan.
When children are sick, parents often times forget to care for their own needs and instead are focused solely on helping their children get better. Ellis wanted these parents to know that their sacrifices do not go unnoticed by giving them the opportunity to relax, even if only temporarily. The hospital supported this special event by providing gift bags and refreshments.
Many parents who participated had never experienced a massage or facial. One mother, after sleeping in the hospital for three days, welcomed her first experience with open arms. Another couple, after having spent months in the hospital with their child, appreciated the much needed stress relief. Experts say that an hour of massage can equal a full night’s sleep, which is something these sleep deprived parents desperately needed.