Young patients celebrate Halloween in the hospital

Published: Oct. 31, 2019 at 5:26 PM EDT
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Kids at Carilion Children's Hospital couldn't go trick-or-treating but they still got to celebrate Halloween - all thanks to volunteers who took treats to the children.

Seven-year-old Tinlee Hudson is dressed as a unicorn for Halloween, but she can't go trick-or-treating. She's been stuck in the hospital for a week.

"It was disheartening when we found out we were going to be here on Halloween, but all of this has completely changed that for us," Christy Hudson, Tinlee's mother, said.

Carilion Children's Hospital in Roanoke found a way to bring Halloween to the kids there. Nurses, medical students and other Carilion employees dressed up and went from room to room, handing out non-edible treats.

"Ms. Tinlee has received a lot of treats today. We've got a lot of stickers, we've got some glow-sticks, we've received some crayons, colored pencils, we've got some things that you hang up on the wall and paint," Christy said.

It's "reverse" trick-or-treating, as Carilion calls it - the hospital's way of making its patients feel at home.

"We do this to normalize the hospital environment. These kids are missing out on their fun school parties or going trick-or-treating in their communities, so we're doing our best to bring that fun and cheer to them," Sarah Kress, Lead Child Life Specialist with Carilion Children's Hospital, said.

Cheer that means a lot to patients like Tinlee and her family.

"It's very special that they take the time to bring the trick-or-treating and the activities to the children who are not able to go out and participate in the community with everything. It's very special to us and it means a lot to us," Christy said.

Proof Halloween can be celebrated anywhere, even in a hospital.

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