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Something to Smile About

My wife and I were heading back home after spending the day in Columbus.

It was a great day! We enjoyed unseasonably warm weather, an exciting Ohio State football game (The Buckeyes won!) and a late dinner with my sister. We were exhausted as my wife looped around the city. She was driving because my vision is not the best at night. As bad as my eyes are, I was still able to see the bright neon sign that read Nationwide Children’s Hospital. As I read the sign on the side of the hospital, my mind flashed back to days that I spent in Columbus that weren’t so good.


Many years ago, when I was an eleven year old boy I had heart surgery at that same hospital. I was to be there for a week or so, but ended up spending over two months in the hospital due to complications during my surgery.

I can say without hesitation those were the toughest, dreariest and most depressing days I’ve ever experienced. I remember days when I wished I would die or never wake up. The days were filled with both physical and emotional pain.


The only thing worse than being in the hospital, is being a kid in the hospital.

It’s horrible to wake up day after day and see illness and death all around you. It’s tough to miss school, not play with friends, miss out on holidays or not be able to do normal everyday stuff.  You try to grin and bear it but you “bear it” much more than you “grin”.


Only a few things caused me to smile during my hospital stay: surprise visitors, the kindness of nurses and the many cards I received. Those cards from friends, family, classmates and even people I barely knew were one of the pick me ups that helped get me through my hospital stay.

Some were funny, some were inspirational and some were homemade but all of them let me know that people loved me and wanted me to get better.

The “Get Well Cards” not only meant a lot they were often the highlight of my day. They gave me a few minutes of joy and were a distraction from what I was dealing with.


It’s both unfair and horrible that a kid should be in the hospital. I guess that’s why I still change the channel when I see those St. Jude commercials. During the upcoming holidays, children spending time in a hospital will feel even worse. Since they will have little to smile about, we should try to make them grin


This year during the holidays I encourage you to think about kids in the hospital and ask you to do something that will make a child smile, if only for a moment.

Donate books, cards, stuffed animals, toys or your time!

Here’s how to help locally http://www.childrensdayton.org/donate/

Surprise a kid with a card: http://www.cardsforhospitalizedkids.com/http://daytonparentmagazine.com/wp-admin/media-upload.php?post_id=8702&type=image&TB_iframe=1

Improve their care and more: https://childrensmiraclenetworkhospitals.org/donate/

Donate to St. Jude or Nationwide www.stjude.org or https:www.nationwidechildrens.org/donate/


Nothing’s worse than being a kid in the hospital but nothing’s better than making them smile and feel well again!

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