My Life-changing Shriner's Hospital Visit

July 25th, 2016, 11am

The Shriner’s Hospital for Children really changed me. I had the opportunity to go with my Job’s Daughters Bethel sisters, which made it even more special. We even brought our own Shriner (it was just Alyssa’s grandpa, but still…)! Because they were moving to Pasadena, there wasn’t as much to see as if we had come a few years prior, but there was still plenty. Our tour guide, Christine, first showed us the memorial wall out front, showing the people/companies that have donated to the hospital. She took us upstairs, showing us and talking about the rooms we were passing. They used to be used for patients, but now they have been remodeled as conference rooms, since they were moving. Christine explained that they still had some rooms set up, as they still had a few patients, but none that had to stay overnight. The hospital doesn’t do anymore surgeries that would prevent the patient to have to stay overnight. Patients that needed this kind of care would be sent to the Pasadena location, and they would do the procedure there. After passing some patient rooms, we saw a larger room with glass walls facing us. Inside, there were tv’s, video game consoles, sport balls, and more. It has inspirational quotes on the walls, and was clearly made to look like the children that would play inside it was a movie star. The ground had stars not unlike the ones on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They said things like, “Hermione Granger”, “Harry Potter”, and my two personal favorites, “Mary Jane Watson” and “Peter Parker”. The hospital opens the room for the older patients for a few hours each day. After seeing the west wing of the second floor, we then went to the east wing. There we saw more patient rooms, but this time they were set up like a typical hospital room, not like a conference room. There was another playroom on this side, too. It was for the littler kids this time, and looked like a playground merged with a nursery. The walls were a bright yellow-green and there were miniature figurines and jumbo Lego blocks. It opened like the previous one- for a few hours each day. After seeing the second floor, Christine took us to the best part of the tour- the underground level, where they make prosthetics. This location was known for their arms and legs in this department. They showed us some finished products, and let us hold them. They were heavier than expected! We saw some that were in the process of being made, and got to ask a prosthetic specialist some questions. We got to see a rehabilitation room, too. We went back to the lobby level, to a huge room that they called the “Atrium”. It was their main activity room. Christine went to a back room and emerged with gift bags for all of us! After that, she told us once we were 16 we could volunteer. With that, we left the hospital. This was truely a life-changing trip. I did it with some of my closest friends, and saw some pretty humbling things. There were patients in some of the rooms, and although we couldn’t talk to them, I feel like they were absolutely a highlight of the trip. There were murals on all the walls of fun scenes, and the entire time I was hoping this was what the children admitted here felt like. I would absolutely recommend this tour to anyone interested. I hope to visit the new location in the future, and maybe even volunteer there!

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Riley Bryant

I am just a little girl in a big world. What can I say? I do a lot.

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