The Founding Story

Dec My Room Creates Healing Places for Long Term Patients


It began at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas, when mother-daughter duo, Susan and Kendall Plank, were asked to visit a young family friend "J" from Austin, who was scheduled to be admitted to the hospital. He would be in the hospital at least 3 weeks or more, away from his family and friends.

Susan and Kendall decided they wanted to do something to make "J"'s stay more comfortable. They called their family and asked them to please find out what his likes and interests were, and they shopped around town to customize a comforting, colorful, cozy room.

Just before "J" arrived at the hospital, Susan and Kendall decorated (aka dec'd) his room with everything burnt orange - from floor to ceiling, all kinds of decor that represented the University of Texas Longhorns. (This did cause a little controversy at home since Mike Plank is an Aggie grad from Texas A&M University, rivaling UT.)

"J" and his mother were very surprised when they entered his hospital room, seeing the room transformed from a typical drab, white room to a colorful, burnt orange room that specifically spoke to "J"'s own likes and interests - all from strangers who cared enough to create a healing place for him.

The Child Life Specialist brought in Susan and Kendall to meet "J" who showed them how thankful he was by giving them both a big hug with tears in his eyes.

As Susan and Kendall were leaving the hospital, Kendall told her mom how great it would be if they could decorate rooms for all of the children in the hospital. Susan agreed, and that is how Dec My Room began!

Since 2007, Dec My Room has used volunteers who are trained and background checked to be involved in the dec'ing process. Volunteers shop based on the personal likes and interests of each individual patient we serve. We've found that these customized healing places change the patient's affect and well being, and thus all who enter their hospital rooms - from family members, to hospital staff and medical personnel. It truly blesses everyone.