ANN ARBOR – As the COVID pandemic continues, patients at University of Michigan Health C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital are more isolated than ever this holiday season.
With visitor restrictions in place and limitations on how many patients can occupy the facility’s many activity rooms, families are spending nearly all of their time in their child’s room.
But thanks to donations from the community, staff at Mott were still able to bring some holiday magic to Michigan Medicine’s youngest patients and their families.
🎅🎄Ho, ho, ho! Today we had special visitors from the North Pole visit our #LittleVictors via Zoom. While Santa and Mrs. Claus wish they could’ve visited in person this year, they were sure to keep the magic alive for our patients and their families. #HappyHolidays pic.twitter.com/Jo3Uem6iTq— C.S. Mott Children's (@MottChildren) December 16, 2021
Last week, Santa did his rounds visiting virtually with patients at their bedsides, and patients and their families were able to “shop” at Mott’s in-house toy store, which provides brand-new toys to patients at no cost.
“Children and families who are at the hospital miss out on so many of the season’s traditions, such as seeing Santa,” Luanne Ewald, chief operating officer of Mott and U-M Health Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital said in a news release. “We’re so grateful for the incredible community support that helps us make this time of year special for our Mott families and brings them some holiday cheer during such a stressful time.”
For the second year in a row, Mr. and Mrs. Claus Zoomed in to Little Victors’ rooms from the North Pole. Child and Family Life staff took an iPad from room to room so children could take photos and share their Christmas lists without having to leave their beds.
The eighth-floor activity room became Mott’s own Santa’s workshop, featuring shelves lined with toys including Legos, puzzles, stuffed animals, dolls and more as well as U-M apparel.
Families were given the option to choose up to five gifts for their child receiving treatment and their siblings.