Dressed as a “very scary vampire,” 5-year-old Jayla Soares waited at the edge of her doorway with two buckets full of candy already. Augusta University employees walked by her room at Children’s Hospital of Georgia, dropping candy, toys, and treats into her bucket. Jayla was not shy. In fact she was asking everyone, “What are you? Do you want some of my candy?”.
The 5-year-old seemed very comfortable with the nurses and staff, and that’s because the hospital has become a second home to her.
“I have been here for 100 million 80 years,” she said.
While there were so many amazing costumes, Jayla gasped and laughed hysterically when she saw Mr. Potato Head.
This was a special day for 5-year-old Jayla, as she has been in the hospital since April and will continue to be there off and on for about another year, followed by nine months of recovery.
Everyone involved went above and beyond to make this special for all of the kids at Children’s. Augusta University employees were very creative with their costumes and candy baskets.
Because of Covid-19 protocol, trick-or-treating looked a bit different. Typically, the kids walk the halls trick or treating at tables set up by the staff of departments throughout AU. This year, the children stood in their doorways and got their treats from AU employees walking by.
Remi Yeater, 2, was overwhelmed with all the candy she had gotten. She couldn’t help but continue to pour out her candy to see what all she had gotten that day – she already had two buckets full dumped on her bed. Dressed as her favorite Paw Patrol character, she eagerly waited for more people to come visit her room with goodies. She had her hair curled and her hands were filled with play dough and candy.
Remi had been at the hospital for almost a week and was ready to be discharged that day, but not before she got to do her trick-or-treating. According to her mom, Remmy was so excited that she wanted to go to sleep the night before so she could wake up for trick-or-treating.
“It made me tear up, seeing how excited she was,” her mom said.
The trick-or-treating event was organized by the Child Life Specialists at Children’s Hospital of Georgia. Child Life provides a variety of services for pediatric patients, including organizing special events throughout the year to make being in the hospital just a little bit easier for children.