FALL RIVER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Children at Saint Anne’s Hospital in Fall River got a chance at fun before surgery, rolling into the operating room in their sweet Power Wheels rides.
The cars are donated by the Friends of Jack Foundation—who hope to bring the program to all hospitals, free of charge.
Jilline Fearons started the nonprofit Friends of Jack Foundation, named after her eight-year-old son, Jack Fearons. Jack has a rare spinal condition, and all those trips to hospitals inspired her to do something to brighten up children’s hospital experiences.
Jack told WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe he is a fan.
“I think it’s really cool, so that kids aren’t scared to go into surgery,” Jack said.
The hallway leading into the operating room has been decorated with stop signs and a racetrack known as “Get Well Way.”
Administrative Director of Surgical Services Diane Deyok said the program is helpful to parents as well as their children.
“Families come in that are fearful when they come in the front door and we can offer this to them and just see the relief in their faces,” Deyok said. “It’s helpful to the parent as well as the child.”
The program is well received. There are more prizes too, not just the wheels.
“The first couple of kids, these kids were squealing, there were so excited,” Deyok said. “They get a really cute teddy bear that they get to keep and take home. They get the superhero satin cape that they also can take home, so that they can take this memory home with them.”
The distraction helps keep children from having to take any extra medicine.
“It…allows us to not have to give them any anti-anxiety medication, which we might otherwise have to do," Chief of Anesthesia Dr. Betty Medeiros-Beattie said.
Four-year-old Leah came to Saint Anne’s to have her tonsils removed. Wearing a cape and mask, she cruised into the OR.
“Usually when you come to a hospital, there aren’t any toys or things,” David Coderre said. “This, I believe, is going to be a good thing for the hospital...it helped to take the fear of knowing why she was here away from her. She was actually rather excited all day about it.”
WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports