A second home for Halloween

Every year, thousands of children and their families spend holidays at Children’s Hospital Boston, separated from family and friends, and not able to take part in the activities and traditions they look forward to all year long. Over the next few months, we’re going to share the stories of a few of these families and highlight the things Children’s does to make holidays away from home as enjoyable as possible for our families.

Today we start with Halloween, the holiday many kids miss the most when they’re stuck in the hospital. “Our patients always remember the year they had to miss trick or treating because they were here,” says Beth Donegan-Driscoll, director of Child Life Services. “So we try to bring as much Halloween spirit to the hospital as we can.”

As you’ll see in the video above, shot at different events throughout the hospital, the Halloween spirit was alive and well this week.

Have you had to spend a holiday at a hospital? Tell us your story in the comments section below.

4 thoughts on “A second home for Halloween

  1. I spent Christmas in a hospital. I enjoyed it but that is cause I was away from home. But I have spent a lot of time in and out of hospitals in my life. I have to say chronic illness makes for a lot of trips to the hospital. But I have to say, I love being in hospitals and the people who work there are amazing. Regardless, I have to say there is nothing like home on a holiday and the closer you get to celebrating that holiday, the better it might be.

  2. I once spent Easter Sunday at the Klarman (eating disorder) center in Mcclean hospital. I can’t say it didn’t suck, but the staff there tried to be as supportive as possible. We decorated the building we were in and did some holiday fundraisers to make the environment a little more festive. :]

  3. My daughter has a Mitochondrial Disease, and due to the serious nature of her illness has spent Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years at Children’s multiple times.

    Although every year it has been difficult to be away from home during such special times, we have found the hospital and Child Life staff to be incredibly supportive. Child Life has done an excellent job making Holiday activities available (be it Christmas presents, Trick-or-Treating, or Thanksgiving Dinner) to my daughter and the rest of our family.

    One of the most special “baby” treasures I have from my daughter’s infancy is an ornament made by the Child Life staff for her first Christmas with a baby picture of my daughter and prints of her two tiny feet.

    Considering the stressful implications of dealing with serious childhood illness during important family holidays, I believe that the staff at CHB does an excellent job providing for their patients and patient families.

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