POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Halloween in a hospital is not the ideal situation but staff and community members at Lakeland Regional Health tried to make the day as bright as possible.
They donned costumes and handed out candy to pediatric patients on Thursday morning.
“I thought we weren’t gonna have Halloween. But then they told us about this,” explained Trenton Nielson, an 11-year old from Lakeland. “I was actually smiling.”
“He’s getting older so when we found out we were gonna be here, I just, that’s another year lost with him being a kid. This was an amazing turnout so I really enjoyed it,” said his mother, Stephanie Nielson.
It’s an annual tradition to make up for kids missing out on a quintessential childhood memory.
“It’s really important to us to make sure that no child misses out on an opportunity to be a child just because they’re in the hospital,” said Jillian Haley, child life specialist at Lakeland Regional Health.
A record number of staff and community members participated, including officers from the Lakeland Police Department.
The group brought Halloween to each child, going door-to-door “reverse trick-or-treating.”
“I’ve never seen a reverse parade before so I think it was kind of cool that the grown ups came out to the kids instead of the kids going up to the grown ups,” said Griselle Ramos, of Bartow, mother of 2-year old Haywood House.