Doses of Christmas magic make a winter wonderland the reality for Children’s of Mississippi patients

Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 7:03 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The hospital for the holidays is a difficult scenario for families at Children’s of Mississippi but they were given the chance for some special holiday cheer Thursday.

It’s doses of Christmas magic, rather than medicine, giving Children’s of Mississippi patients an unforgettable experience.

“It’s truly designed to be a winter wonderland as we see the snow falling,” said BankPlus Chief Culture Officer Johnny Donaldson.

The pathway begins with an all-important stop to chat with Santa.

“This event is so important,” described Cara Williams, Children’s of Mississippi certified child life specialist. “It’s amazing to see the parents’ faces light up and that big sigh of relief when their kid has smiled for the first time because they’ve come down and they see snow they see Santa they see Christmas tree. So, it’s beneficial and therapeutic for the kids but also for the parents and that’s what we’re wanting to promote is that family-centered care.”

The hospital isn’t the usual setting for Emoni meeting the man in the big red suit. You’d never know it from her animated responses to the snow, Santa, and his helpers but Emoni had a seizure in her sleep last night. So, she’s just arrived at Children’s of Mississippi.

“Oh, it’s wonderful,” said her mother Quarnisha Patterson. “Especially all the hours she had been unresponsive. So, it’s wonderful to see her smile and up and alert.”

It’s a day of celebration for Holly Moore and her daughter Katie.

“Today is actually Katie’s last day of chemotherapy,” described Holly Moore. “She’s been getting treatment for leukemia for two and a half years. We just came down and wow, you know, what a great thing to just break up the hard times.”

BankPlus and Revell Ace Hardware along with volunteers make this transformation happen. Kids selected miniature trees and decorations to keep on display this holiday and brighten up their hospital room.

“It’s truly designed to be an escape,” added Donaldson.

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