‘Snow Pile’ brings holiday joy to families at Golisano Children’s Hospital

Author: Andrew Scheinthal
MGN Online

FORT MYERS, Fla.- On Christmas Day, most people picture a family around the tree, opening gifts and sharing laughs. But there are other families who will be spending the day in the hospital, while their children receive life-saving treatment.

Monday, Golisano Children’s Hospital hoped to make the holidays just a little more homey.

Toy after toy… after toy.

This isn’t Santa’s workshop and it’s not a department store. It’s a conference room in the Golisano Children’s Hospital.

At the “Snow Pile” event, parents picked out gifts for their kids who will spend Christmas at the hospital.

“It was a very scary experience,” said Tiamaree Elias, as she scrolled through photos of her baby boy, born 4 months early.

With a February due date, she never thought her son would be celebrating Christmas this year, let alone, in the hospital.

“It’s hard because you just want to take him home and you can’t. So… it’s difficult,” said Elias.

The hospital created the event to give parents the chance to make Christmas as special as they can for their kids.

“They’re missing all the parties at school, and getting to go see Santa and take pictures with Santa,” said Kelly Scher, a child life specialist.

She makes the hospital experience as easy and comfortable for the kids as possible.

“It’s really difficult for families to get out and do Christmas shopping, and also worrying about medical bills. So if we can just kind of help them out a little bit, this is a way that we can do it,” said Scher.

A small gesture says Elias, that makes this holiday a little merrier.

“We still want to spoil him, and get him presents and still enjoy that first christmas experience for him,” said Elias.

A first Christmas, maybe not going as planned, but with the help from the medical staff it won’t be one ever forgotten.

The Snow Pile isn’t the only special event planned for the kids. Santa will also make a detour Christmas Day and stop by the hospital to drop off just a few more gifts.

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