GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – After spending nearly a month in the hospital with her newborn baby, Hillary Smith is ready to go home. But while peering into the hallway on Halloween morning, she said it can wait another day.
“I think it means the world because it normalizes their situation and allows them to partake in something that even though they’re not home, I think is even better,” said Smith, mother of a hospital patient.
Behind all the face paint and masks are the hospital’s nurses marching through the same halls they always do, just looking a little different. It’s these nurses who parents like Smith and so many others spend hours each day with. So, to them, bringing Halloween to the children in the hospital feels like celebrating with family.
“I spend so much time here, 36 hours a week at the minimum, so all of my long days away from my family are with these patients and spending so much time with them they do almost become like family,” said Christine Mullins, a nurse at Prisma Health Children’s Hospital. “So being able to be here and be a part of their lives and part of the joy I can bring to them means a lot.”
But while the nurses have formed relationships with their long-term patients, the treats weren’t just for familiar faces. After a complication from a tonsillectomy, Stephanie Clarey was nervous her daughter, Cici, wouldn’t get the halloween they planned for.
“We came into the hospital and were really nervous to miss Halloween and Cicii has loved getting to see everyone,” said Stephanie Clarey, mother of a hospital patient. “It gave us something to look forward to and gave us a break from the day and now she gets to look through all her treats.”
Treats included stickers, bubbles, card games and toys for the kids to play with in their rooms each day.
“It’s been a sweet representation of the community coming together to love on kids when they’re away from home and not able to do the normal activities,” said Smith. “It’s been just a very small community feel in what seems like a very trying time and that’s made such an impact on our family.”