Halloween Haunts Hospital Hallways



Trent and Mallory WingerHow does a children's hospital throw the best Halloween party in the Bay Area? First you create over 50 different trick-or-treat stops. Then you build one of the world's scariest haunted houses. Throw in a couple hundred caregivers trying to out-costume each other. And finally, you invite some of the most special kids in the world.

Welcome to the annual Trick-or-Treat Trail at Packard Children's Hospital. It's a place where kids with cancer, heart disease, cystic fibrosis and other serious illness can experience the thrill of Halloween even if they're hospitalized. It's an exciting and poignant event that patients, families, and staff spend weeks preparing for. Now, the decorations, the haunted house, the toys, gooey treats and outrageous costumes are almost ready for the big day. So what about the patients?

Jeremiah "Trent" Winger of Covelo, CA, may be waiting for a heart transplant, but that's not stopping the two-year-old from slipping on cowboy boots and two-stepping his way out of his room and around the Trail.  As mom Gabrielle said, "Trent is so excited for Halloween that he's been wearing his cowboy costume every day."  And his five-year-old sister Mallory will be a perfect partner as she parades around the hospital halls as a southern belle, complete with oversized hat.  These are only two of the hundreds of kids and siblings turning this Friday at Packard Children's into one of the happiest days of the year.

Of course, it's not just the kids and their families hitting the Trail. It wouldn't be Halloween without the doctors, nurses, and staff all joining the fun. Even the hospital schoolteachers are Trail-bound with their "Little Monsters" theme.

"We think it's one very cool way to give kids a little bit of normalcy on one of the biggest days of the year," said Colette Case, director of child and family life services, whose team masterminds and organizes the extravaganza. "It's a major event for all of us, and we're proud of the happiness it creates."

Copyright 2008- American Society of Registered Nurses (ASRN.ORG)-All Rights Reserved


Articles in this issue:


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    Editor-in Chief:
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    Editorial Staff:
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    Stan Kenyon
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    Stan Kenyon
    Liz Di Bernardo
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    Elisa Howard
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