USA News

Animals visit, lift the spirits of young patients stuck in the hospital for summer


CHICAGO — At a summer camp program at Lurie Children’s Hospital, instead of the kids going away, the camp comes to the kids. And it included some Shedd Aquarium favorites traveling from the lakefront to Lurie to add a little adventure even inside hospital walls.

For patients stuck in the hospital for the summer, who can’t make it to camp or other summer activities, the outside comes to them.

“I heard it in my room. My nurse let me know and I said, ‘I gotta go see the animals!’” patient Alyssa Woodworth said. “It’s a taste of nature, especially when you are stuck in the building.”

Lizards, snakes and big red the tortoise mingled with patients and their families as part of the 8-week-long explorers camp.

Katie Vautier is Lurie Children’s School Services Coordinator.

“We’ve had a STEM week and we’ve done an engineering challenge,” she said.

RJ Hall has been at Lurie for nearly a week. The day’s activity a welcome break from his recovery.

Samantha Hall is RJ’s mother.

“I think it raises him a lot,” she said. “He gets excited. It gives him a little bit, more life a little more drive.”

“It takes their mind off their medical diagnosis and gives them an opportunity to not think about why they are here but just have a really cool, unique experience,” Vautier said.

Even siblings can take part in the program.

“It creates this fun light easy going atmosphere,” Vautier said.

Camp Urban Explorers offers the animal encounters that for years have boosted kids moods and just made them feel better.

Sign up for our Medical Watch newsletter. This daily update includes important information from WGN’s Dina Bair and the Med Watch team including latest updates from health organizations, in-depth reporting on advancements in medical technology and treatments as well as personal features related to people in the medical field. Sign up here.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button