Big Animals for Little Kids Impacted the Life of a Child
My son received an unexpected
visit from the Big Animals for Little Kids while he was in the ICU
recovering from brain surgery. Frank Fernicola and the "animals"
were doing an event near Children's Hospital when they learned that
Adam was in the hospital and decided to stop by.
I was at my son's bedside
when I looked up to see a large white rabbit, a big brown dog,
a magician and a face painter heading straight for us. I whispered
to my son, "Look who's come to see you." Tears rolled down my
face as Adam's face lit up like the fourth of July as these larger
than life animals circled his bed. It was in that moment, I knew
the surgery was a success and it was also in that moment that
we were all about to learn just how much a random act of kindness
disguised as a rabbit, dog, magician and face painter would have
in the life a child.
Across from Adam's room,
there was a room that had been transformed to resemble a little
girls' bedroom. The hospital curtains replaced with tie-died ones,
the bedspread and sheets were bright pink and on the glass walls
were posters of princesses. Lying in the bed was a fragile little
girl with a Hello Kitty bandana wrapped around her head. Her mother
was sitting next to her and they were both fixated on what was happening
across the hall. There was laughter coming from our room, happiness
had taken over and Adam was having his face painted. I was so overwhelmed
with relief and joy; I stepped out of the room for a second. That
mom from across the way jumped from her daughters' side and headed
She asked who was in the
room and I shared they were my friends - the Big Animals for Little
Kids. Her eyes welled and her voice crackled as she began to tell
me that her daughter has been at Children's quite awhile, in the
ICU for several weeks. She went to tell me that when her daughter
saw those "animals" walking down the hall and into my son's room,
she smiled. This was the first time her daughter had smiled in a
very long time. "Do you think they would come see my daughter?"
she tearfully asked me. Without hesitation I replied "of course
they would." This mom was overwhelmed with grief, her daughter was
dying of cancer and all she knew was those 'animals' in my sons'
room were making her daughter smile.
I stood in the doorway of
Adam's room as the rabbit and the dog made their way around the
nurses' station and through the doorway to this precious little
girl. I could see her face glowing with excitement. The killer of
this child had fled, there was no cancer, and there was no death.
There was simply joy and laughter. As pure as freshly fallen snow,
love and life consumed that room. I don't know how long they stayed;
I just stood in the doorway of Adam's room full of gratitude for
the moments of escape the Big Animals for Little Kids had just brought
The curtains of that little
girl's room were closed two days later; she had passed away.