Having to travel to another city or province for your child’s surgery can be a stressful experience. While it might feel daunting, there are steps you can take to ensure you and your family are prepared for the experience. On this page, we’ve compiled some information that may help.
The Stollery website includes a wealth of information to help you plan your visit, learn more about the hospital and discover on-site resources and services. We refer to sections of this website throughout this page, as it contains the most up-to-date information.
Many parents find it helpful to connect with other families who have previously travelled to the Stollery for their child’s surgery. There are support groups available in each of the Western Provinces, many of which have social media groups where parents can connect and ask questions.
Start planning your trip as soon as you receive confirmation of your child’s surgery date. Accommodations can book up fast and travel prices are typically more affordable the earlier they are booked.
In some cases, you and your child will be transported to the Stollery in a medically-assisted flight. Your child’s care team will advise you if this will happen (in this case, bring a car seat with you for their travel home after discharge from the hospital). In other cases, you will need to plan your own travel to Edmonton.
Edmonton is served by one major airport: the Edmonton International Airport (YEG). From the airport, ground transportation services, taxis and access to public transit are available to make your way to the Stollery or to your accommodation. Keep in mind that the airport is a fair distance from the hospital and city centre (approximately 20 kilometers). The cost of a taxi ride to the hospital or to Ronald McDonald House is about $65.00.
If you plan on taking public transit from the airport, use the ETS Trip Planner. The Sky Shuttle provides transport from the airport directly to the University Hospital (where the Stollery is located). This service is suspended at times (for example, due to COVID-19). Always check the Sky Shuttle website to ensure it is available. If you are driving to the hospital, you can get directions from your current location using Google Maps.
Many families drive to Edmonton instead of flying. If you choose to do so, we recommend using Google Maps to plan your trip as directions to the hospital and your accommodation will vary based on where you are coming from. Keep in mind that Edmonton is a large city with high levels of traffic congestion, so plan your trip accordingly and leave ample time for delays.
If you need assistance to help cover the cost of travel, support can be accessed from:
In addition, Social Workers (present at every hospital within the WCCHN network) can help you access financial support and resources. If you’d like to connect with a hospital Social Worker, speak to your care team at your home hospital.
Please visit the Stollery website for up-to-date information (such as parking information and maps) to help plan your travel to the hospital. When coming to the hospital for an appointment or surgery, try to arrive early in case there is traffic, difficulty finding parking or any transit delays.
If you plan on taking public transit to the hospital, use the ETS Trip Planner. If you are driving to the hospital, you can get directions from your current location using Google Maps. If you will be driving to the hospital, it is important to note that parking can be quite expensive (about $15 each day). The most convenient parking location is on the 4th floor of the East Public Parkade. From there, you can take a pedway directly into the 2nd floor of the hospital (be sure to look for the signs directing you to the Stollery). A parking map can be found on the Stollery website.
In some cases, you may need to find accommodation for your stay in Edmonton. There are numerous hotels, motels and AirBNB accommodations close to the hospital. Please note that there is room for one parent to sleep at their child’s bedside in all inpatient wards. The following accommodations are close by:
Provides accommodations and offers transportation to and from the Stollery for families living in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
A non-smoking, alcohol-free accommodation with on-site laundry and shared kitchen facilities. Free parking is available. The current rate per night is $12.00. The accommodation is located approximately 10 blocks from the Stollery (which is about a 30 minute walk). Walking is not recommended during the winter months. For more information, speak with your Surgical Case Coordinator.
This accommodation is conveniently located right across the street from the main Stollery entrance. It is an apartment block with bachelor, one bedroom and two bedroom suites available. All suites include kitchenettes. The hotel also has two laundry rooms and paid parking. Special rates are available to families whose children are in hospital. Ask for the WCCHN rate at the time of booking. You may be asked to provide a letter from your medical team or social worker confirming your child’s hospital stay.
For more information on local accommodations and special rates for families with children in the hospital, check with a Stollery Social Worker (your Surgical Case Coordinator can connect you).
Packing correctly is especially important when travelling to another city or province for your child’s surgery. You need to pack the appropriate medical supplies and items for your child, and also need to ensure you have everything required for an extended stay. Please check with your Surgical Case Coordinator if you have any questions about what you should bring. The list below offers suggestions and was created with input from hospital staff and families.
For your child:
For a baby:
The hospital has:
The Stollery is located within the University of Alberta Hospital. Information for patients, families and visitors can be found on the hospital website. There, you can find information on where to eat, where to find an ATM and other available amenities. The hospital is home to numerous resources that help address everyday needs. These include lockers, computer kiosks and even in-patient family facilities that provide access to laundry and showers (for families that require overnight or extended stays).
There is a shared kitchenette available on each of the inpatient units that has an ice machine, microwave, toaster and shared fridge. All food stored in the fridge needs to be labelled with your name. You can ask your nurse for labels and a marker.
On-site support services are available to all families and patients receiving care at the hospital. These services can help you and your family address social and emotional needs. You can learn more about these services on the Stollery website.
In addition, Stollery Social Workers are available to support all families. They can help you cope with any stress you are feeling and provide help with accommodations, transportation and financial planning (including accessing government benefits available to families providing care to sick children). For more information, speak with your Surgical Case Coordinator.
The Stollery Surgical Case Coordinator is your go-to contact for any questions or concerns. Their role is to help patients and families prepare for heart surgery. You can contact them as often as needed.