TEMPLE (December 20, 2012)
One of the last places you want to be for Christmas is in the hospital, especially if you're a child.
The holiday season can be a frustrating time for any parent, but what if your child was in the hospital for the holidays? And what if they had to stay there for weeks on end?
For McLane Children's Hospital in Temple, it's a struggle they like helping with.
"For us to be able to be a part of a child's Christmas, or for us to help them forget that they're a patient here, is really exciting," Chief Nursing Officer and Chief Operating Officer Ellen Hansen said.
McLane Children's Hospital doesn't like any child spending the holiday season behind their doors. So the hospital gathers toys through public donations, and allows parents to take a few free of charge for their child staying in the hospital.
"Imagine being a child again, and remembering back to those days when you were kid," Hansen said.
"You look forward to this day all year, I mean, it was a big thing for you."
Preserving the 'spirit' of Christmas is a big deal for parent Vivian Trujillo.
A cancerous birth mark has kept her daughter Zariyah in and out of the hospital for 7 months. Vivian hasn't even been able to go Christmas shopping this year.
"It made me feel really good that we could go down and pick some thing out for my daughter," Trujillo said.
"It really put a smile on her face."
Zariyah had her last surgery this week, and there's a good chance she won't be in the hospital come Christmas. But if she is, Vivan says she's glad her daughter's Christmas will be taken care of.