On Friday, Aug. 4, the Cherese Mari Laulhere Child Life Program at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach brought the beach to the hospital for pediatric patients who are currently receiving treatment at Miller Children’s & Women’s and the Cherese Mari Laulhere Children’s Village.
Due to their hospitalization, the patients are not able to enjoy going out to the beach or other summertime activities. To make sure no patient misses out on summer fun and make their stay at the hospital more enjoyable, the Child Life Program worked with many different departments from both MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center and Miller Children’s & Women’s, as well as community members to transform a large conference room into a seaside paradise.
“We’re glad to be continuing our tradition of bringing summer to our pediatric patients,” says Rita Goshert, director, Child Life Program. “It warms my heart to see so many members of the community participate and help spread smiles and joy throughout our hospital.”
Many members from the outside community were able to participate and interact with event attendees. Patients and families were greeted by Marvel characters and were accompanied by firefighters from the Long Beach Fire Department as they walked around the “beach.” Several other community members set up their own booths to give patients gifts and interact with them, including magicians who performed captivating tricks for their audiences and Handel’s Ice Cream who served frozen treats for this summertime event.
"It’s such a great opportunity for us to come and support the hospital and see these patients smile and have fun," says Ryan Waddell, battalion chief, Long Beach Fire Department. "It's a good break for our guys too, since we get to step away from our day to day for a bit to brighten some patients' days."
Getting to take a break from their treatments was only part of the enjoyment for the patients and their families. Parents were excited to see their children run around and have fun, and patients were excited to play games and win prizes, forgetting that they were even in the hospital and making lasting memories in the process.