Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital announces $95.4M expansion

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — More children will soon get the lifesaving care they need thanks to a multi-million-dollar expansion at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.

Le Bonheur announced Monday its largest building expansion since the hospital opened in 2010.

President of the hospital Michael Wiggins said the goal is to grow their critical care capacity.

Right now, he said the critical care space where they treat children with the most significant healthcare needs is at capacity.

This $95.4 million project will add an additional four stories to the front of the building, giving them more space to treat more children.

It’s welcome news for parents like Laura Grimes. Her eight-year-old son Henry has been a Le Bonheur patient since he was born.

“When he was born in March of 2013, he was born with a congenital heart defect,” she said.

At just 14 weeks old, Henry had open-heart surgery. His mom said he’s here today because of the care he got at Le Bonheur.

The early 129-thousand square feet expansion means even more children will get the care they need.

“It’s needed obviously, which in a way that’s sad we need that many beds, but at the same time, it’s amazing our hospital is able to do this and provide for so many more families,” Grimes said.

Plans for the expansion include growing the cardiovascular and neonatal floors.

The surgery recovery area and main floor will also be expanded.

Le Bonheur President Michael Wiggins said the original expansion plan was announced in 2019, but it was put on hold due to Covid.

“Over time, we know this facility is going to take care of families for the next 30, 40, maybe 50 years,” he said.

As for Grimes, she said her son Henry is doing great, and she’s excited more children will get a chance at life.

“I didn’t imagine I would have an 8-year-old who would be playing golf at the golf course, or who would be in boy scouts, but because of Le Bonheur, we have those things,” she said.

The renovation will extend the west side of the hospital to the sidewalk of Dunlap St.

Work on the expansion will begin within the next month.

It will take about two years to complete.