HOUSTON - Halloween was a little more complicated for all of this year because of the pandemic, but add a hospital visit to the mix, and it made it even more difficult for some families. Texas Children's Hospital put big plans in place, so that everyone could have a Spook-tacular time!
That means you could find plenty of haunted halls at Texas Children's Hospital, all to make it a special holiday for patients and their families.
“They're so thankful. Being in the hospital can be isolating, some of the layers of that are pretty extensive in those seasons, and to be able to provide activities and give them something to look forward to and enjoy as a family, has really provided a lot of support. They've expressed a lot of gratitude,” explains Jill Mendez, Manager of the Child Life Department at TCH.
Even more fun, every patient got a free costume to call their very own.
“We have a partnership with Spirit of Children and the Spirit Halloween stores, and they are just one of our incredible donor partners that make it possible to be able to provide these activities. They provide opportunities, they provide costumes that are really essential to us being able to do the work that we do, and make the impact that the patients and families really strive on during this season,” smiles Mendez.
She says those normal experiences are important to help a child heal.
“Their ability to be kids can help them heal in so many ways from their mental health and emotional expression, being able to play and encourage that physical activity really helps them to heal with whatever's brought them into the hospital,” says Mendez.
Doctor's orders that most get to enjoy reverse trick-or-treating, a fun cart of tricks and treats rolls right to them and they also got to enjoy some fun pet therapy.
Babies in the neo-natal intensive care unit, or NICU, also got in on the action. The hospital's tiniest patients got their own costumes, as well to celebrate their very first Halloween, for their families to enjoy. To protect the little ones, parents got a costume kit that they got to assemble and dress their own child. This all helps bring a sense of normalcy to parents with babies needing special care. It sure seemed to be more treats than tricks at Texas Children's this Halloween.
A big thanks to Wally Crow, who captured special video and photos for us at Texas Children’s Hospital, since photographers aren’t allowed there during the pandemic, to help protect the patients and workers.
For more information: https://www.spirithalloween.com/content.jsp?pageName=soc