Children around the country regularly get sick or injured. Some kids are born with diseases that require extensive medical attention and treatment. These are the times when children might end up spending days, weeks or months in a hospital. That experience can be very traumatic for children who might become scared or confused. Even the presence of parents might not calm down a child who needs to spend days alone in a hospital undergoing complicated treatments. Every step is often taken to ensure that children feel safe, secure and comfortable in the hospital. That can help to make the stay much easier.
Certain hospitals go a step further. These hospitals sometimes have entire wards or wings just for children. You can find colorful paintings, games and toys in those special places. Children can find something to do to stop thinking about an injury, treatment or disease. Parents also sometimes have a place in those hospitals where it is easier to spend hours a day or an entire night near a sick child. It still helps to find something a little surprising during a stay at a hospital. This is what once caring man decided to do for children at a nearby hospital.
Jason Haney is a construction worker who takes great pride in his job. He was recently part of a crew of people who were constructing a large new addition to a hospital. Haney was showing up at the Memorial Children’s Hospital in South Bend, Indiana almost every day as part of the construction crew. Haney has a daughter of his own although she is not in hospital. Haney soon realized that the kids in the hospital were watching and able to see the construction site. Haney decided he wanted to do something to cheer up the sick and recovering children.
Haney got together with his daughter. The two took a piece of plywood that was eight feet tall. They cut out the silhouette of the popular book character Waldo. They painted the wood as well so that it looked just the highly recognizable character. Waldo is the star of a series of books that have been in publication for decades. Waldo wears a hat and a distinctive red-and-white striped shirt. Each of the pages in the books has a complicated image usually full of people, animals or objects. The goal of children who read the books is to find Waldo in each of the illustrations. It can be very fun and engaging.
Haney decided to make a real-life Waldo image. He took the large painted cutout to the construction site. Haney would then carefully place the wooden cutout somewhere on the construction site facing the windows of the children’s hospital. The kids quickly recognized what was going on. The children would scan the construction site every day looking for the image of Waldo. It brightened their days. Haney even set up a Facebook page so that kids at the hospital would be able to post pictures or reports about where Waldo was located that day.
Haney eventually set up a system of communication with the people in the hospital. If a good number of the children found Waldo, then they would let Haney know. He would then move the cutout somewhere else to continue the game. Haney actually became very good at hiding the Waldo cutout without completely obscuring it. He managed to bring a large amount of happiness to some children who were going through a very difficult period. Haney has stated that he now wants to make cutouts of the popular animated characters known as Minions from the movie of the same name.