Volunteers dress up as characters and hand Valentines to Carilion patients

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7)-- Kids who had to spend Valentine's Day in the hospital got a sweet surprise visit. Volunteers dressed up as superheroes and Disney characters to cheer them up.

WDBJ7 photo

10-year-old Natalie Mabery and her family weren't expecting to see volunteers all dressed up in costumes.

"It was pretty awesome, and it definitely brightened Natalie's day, and she really needed that," Amy Brown, Natalie's mother, said.

Natalie wasn't thrilled to learn she'd be spending her Valentine's Day in the hospital.

"We were supposed to be at a party with her home school group today, and she was very upset because she did not get to make that party," Brown said.

But her spirits were lifted when characters handed her Valentines and temporary tattoos at Carilion.

"Definitely special, like she was super excited, she bypassed her brother to run and go and see Spider Man," Brown said.

The characters come to visit the children once every couple of months, and on this Valentine's Day, they wanted them to feel extra loved.

Like one patient, whom the characters decided to serenade.

"I hope that it breaks up what can be a really difficult time and gives them something to smile about, because nobody ever wants to be in the hospital, but when you have to be in the hospital on a holiday, it makes it that much more difficult, so hopefully we just bring a little extra love on Valentine's Day."

It was clear Mabery was feeling that love.

"It's just awesome that people are thinking of the children, like she received a bunch of Valentine's cards today that we were not expecting, and it was pretty awesome to see people put that time in and that they care."

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