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UI Health hosts Halloween parade and party for youngest patients

Doctors and nurses dressed up in costume, as patients made their way through the halls collecting treats

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Being in the hospital is hard, but it can be even harder on holidays.

“Once August hits, we ask what we’re doing for Halloween. We buy invites and make the party plans,” said UI Health’s Certified Child Life Specialist, Dana Thornquist.

Thornquist and her team go above and beyond on Halloween.

Rooms are decorated and the entire hospital staff shows up in costume.

“This holiday is so special because the whole hospital gets involved,” she added.

As barbies and superheroes lined the halls of the pediatric floor, patients got to trick-or-treat for plenty of candy and snacks.

The event isn’t just encouraging for young patients, but for their parents.

“What the staff here, the doctors and nurses do for the kids, is amazing,” said Dolores Napoles, the mother of an 11-year-old patient.

“I love that she gets to enjoy her first Halloween,” said Sierra Ellis, the mother of a 3-month-old patient. “With her condition, it’s hard not being able to take her home and it’s a little stressful. But they make it comfortable and I really thank them a lot.”

UI Health staff looks forward to celebrating the holidays with those they care for.

“Seeing the kids smile and doing normal things, instead of getting pokes and bad news is just so important for their short and long-term coping, so it means the world to us,” Thornquist said.

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