First Lady security restrictions upset some parents of St. Jude patients

Health
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Many of the families who are getting medical help from St. Jude got a letter telling them children can only bring one family member with them for their appointments Wednesday, and no siblings.

Parents tell WREG while the First Lady’s visit is just one day, many of these kids are living day-to-day, and these new security rules are very upsetting.

“We met several celebrities but that’s not why I’m there,” said one patient’s mother.

Heather asked us not to use her last name. Her 4-year-old son came to St. Jude a few years ago with stage four cancer.

He’s now in remission, and she couldn’t be happier. But she’s one of several people chiming in on Facebook about the First Lady’s visit.

“I’d probably be like I need to cancel my appointments for today because I don’t know if I could be there with all that going on.”

Heather’s son is no longer at the hospital, but families who are got a letter from St. Jude.

It says only one parent or caregiver can come with the kids to appointments Wednesday. And they’re not allowed to take pictures or post anything about the visit to social media.

Heather said, “I wish she and the Secret Service people could have taken all of this into account. Because this is not a normal hospital.”

Spokespeople at St. Jude tell WREG they invited Mrs. Obama to come for a visit. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and they say nothing brings awareness to something quite like a visit from the White House.

WREG heard about one case of a father flying in to join his wife for their son’s doctors appointment, only to find out he couldn’t go according to these new rules, which is one of the reasons this issue got stirred up in the first place.

St. Jude reps say they will make exceptions for special cases.

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