Donation Brings Smiles to Children in Hospital

Child in hospital bed and Family

Eight-year-old Lucy Gross was understandably worried about having some minor surgery Friday at Lompoc Valley Medical Center: Hospital.  It was a “very scary” morning for the youngster, who wasn’t sure what to expect, said her mother, Sarah. But when the Lucy arrived at Lompoc Valley Medical Center’s (LVMC) Perioperative Department, she was given a special brightly colored pediatric surgical gown covered with characters from Mario Brothers. 

Lucy beamed when she saw it – coincidentally she had dressed as the character “Yoshi” for Halloween. “It was a great bright side to her very scary morning,” Sarah Gross said.

Though still groggy after her surgery to repair lacerations to her earlobes, Lucy gave the gown a thumb’s up and a smile.

Child in hospital bed

The pediatric gown – as well as similar gowns depicting the Star Wars character R2D2 – were donated to LVMC by the Starlight Children's Foundation.The gowns are part of the non-profit’s “Starlight Brave Gowns” program. 

The gowns are soft and breathable and easy to fit a child’s body size.

In December, Starlight distributed more than 100,000 pediatric gowns around the nation, including to LVMC. Starlight’s partner in the venture, Michaels stores, created 10 inaugural designs in 2016 for children, including making them look like an astronaut, an explorer, a scuba diver and more. The gowns also feature snaps on each sleeve and ties down the side to make it easier for doctors, nurses and other caregivers to do tests and procedures.

Starlight Gowns are designed for boys and girls ages 2 through 12. Made in the USA, the gowns are manufactured to meet strict hospital infection and safety protocols and are specially designed to allow for easy access to heart monitors as well as IVs on both sleeves.

LVMC is grateful to Starlight for making the hospital experience a little brighter for our youngest patients.

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