Tim Wise says his daughter Brooke always loved children.
"Family gatherings, friends, what have you, she would always go to the babies, always go with the little children," said Wise.
Brooke was training to become a child life specialist -- someone who helps children and their families cope with illnesses through play, education and activities.
But one night in 2010, Brooke lost control of her car on a curve and crashed into a tree. She was killed instantly.
Brooke was gone, but something she had cared deeply about was just coming to life.
During an internship at Children's Hospital of Michigan, Brooke came up with the idea of putting cheerful artwork and a special mural in the treatment room where children undergo sometimes painful procedures.
"We talked about this room, and she me how they were pretty sterile and as a child, probably a little scary coming into this room," said Wise. "She told about her idea and wanted to get some artwork up."
It wasn't easy to get approval or funding, but Brooke persisted and succeeded. The result was the "When Pigs Fly" room -- a colorful collection of artwork showing pigs in planes and hot air balloons, soaring with colorful birds. One wall featured the smile-inducing slogan "Dream Pig!"
Brooke's dad was so inspired that he decided to begin volunteering regularly in the very unit where Brooke touched so many.
Local 4 shared Brooke and Tim's story last year and ended it with an appeal for volunteers to help transform all of the treatment rooms at Children's Hospital. Local 4 heard from several local artists all willing to donate their talents. But one e-mail stood out. It was a professor at Central Michigan University, from the same program where Brooke had studied.
"I found it very moving and felt like our students could definitely help," said Pam Sarigiani, associate professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Central Michigan University.
Sarigiani and her students visited Children's Hospital to learn what would work for the treatment rooms and what wouldn't.
"We see children from infancy to young adult," said Grace Serra, the art advisor at Children's Hospital of Michigan. "When we make a proposal for a treatment room, we want it to sort of appeal to all levels."
The students learned pretty pictures aren't enough. The artwork also needs to help child life specialists engage and distract young patients. That information helped guide the themes they proposed for each room.
"My group is working on guided imagery and distraction -- pain distraction -- and so, we were thinking of an "I Spy" theme of some sort, so that it can be interactive for the child as they're in the room and give them something to focus on, other than what's going on around them," said student Amanda Sayre.
The CMU students took what they learned and over the next year, they fine-tuned their proposals, got approval and raised funds to cover the costs.
In all, nearly 80 students and their advisors from Child Development, the Child Life Student Association, Interior Design and the Honors Program Philanthropic Society worked on the project. In September, they gathered with Brooke's family for the emotional unveiling.
There's the "I Spy" room -- a childhood game come to life with shapes to search for on the walls and ceiling. The "Balloon Animals" room and the "Sky Sailing" room are both designed to help kids focus on the feeling of flying and floating. The "Silly Birds" room is filled with a colorful flock where kids can pick their favorite fowl and search for the Detroit Tigers bird. And then there's the "Dandelion" room -- inspired by breathing techniques used to calm children.
If you look closely, in each room, you'll find a pig. It's a small tribute to Brooke's original project and the young woman who planted the seed.
"I think that the drive that she had helped empower us to finish this project and just make her dreams come to life," said student Ceci Escobar. "It's going to be there for a very long time, and it's going to continue to impact children. Not just one group of children now or a group of children later. It's just going to continue on."
For Brooke's family and friends, it's a moving reminder of the passion she had for helping children.
"Brooke is here. That's really the truth," said Tim Wise. "The changes that are occurring are going to go on for a hundred years and only blossom, and more branches, and the deeper the roots will go. So, she's here."
Several of the students who worked on the Children's Hospital project were so inspired, they want to help transform treatment rooms at other hospitals.