Something Wicked(ly fun) is Happening at Stanford Children’s Health

Inside the spook-tacular celebration at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital

Doctors, nurses, therapists, hospital staff and volunteers at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford all went the extra mile to give patients the ‘BOOst’ they need to feel better this Halloween.

Young patients and hospital staff who were dressed as Barbie, Super Mario, princesses, superheroes and even Pokémon characters took to Stanford Children’s Annual Trick-or-Treat Trail. The Halloween event allows kids undergoing medical care to dress up and experience the fun holiday even while in the hospital.

The hospital once again transformed the Dawes Garden into an interactive Halloweentown with over 50 different trick-or-treat booths – each with a different theme from Barbie to Ghost Busters and Disney characters to Ninja Turtles. Even Stanford Children’s fluffy Packard Paws’ pet-assisted therapy teams got into character as Where’s Waldo, with therapy dogs bringing smiles to the little trick-or-treaters.

Ly Phan and her two-year-old son Axel dressed as Luigi and Mario from Mario Kart. She says the hospital’s Halloween event brought them enjoyment, and a little bit of normalcy. “I think it’s great. We’re here for an undetermined amount of time so just to be able to bring a little bit of the childhood fun and festivities to him is really nice since he’s missing so much of it.”

Alexis Olivares, 18, says despite the fact she is a long way from home, she’s happy to be able to celebrate. “I didn’t think I would be able to this year because I’m at the hospital, so this is cool. It brings back childhood memories and it’s fun seeing all the costumes again.”

Inside the hospital, Child Life Specialists and care team members walked the halls of the units with decorated carts delivering over 150 Halloween treat bags filled with toys, coloring books, and snacks to patients who could not physically attend the event.

Newborn babies in the neonatal intensive care unit also celebrated their first Halloween by donning garden-themed outfits crafted by their nurses. The ‘growing garden’ featured ladybugs, strawberries, pumpkins, and pea pods.

And over 20 of Stanford Medicine Children’s Health pediatric clinics hosted a ‘Super Mario Bros.’ themed pumpkin decorating contests – with the ex-skull-ent team winning bragging rights. For the past 30+ years the spook-tacular Halloween event has been a welcome distraction for kids — and their families and friends — to enjoy and experience the Halloween fun even while being hospitalized.


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