Moms First: Kids can drive toy cars into operating room at Beacon Children's Hospital

    Kids can drive toy cars into operating room at Beacon Children's Hospital. // WSBT 22 Photo

    A new toy is helping hundreds of pediatric patients ease the stress of surgery and instead turn fear into fun.

    The program started about five months ago at Beacon Children's Hospital.

    It has children using an electric vehicle to drive into surgery and parents and children say it’s a huge hit!

    "He was so scared of the unknown, didn't know what was happening and we were minutes away from rescheduling the surgery," said Lauren Rose, mom.

    Rose said her son was terrified of going back into the operating room for his tonsillectomy.

    Then a super cool ride pulled up for him.

    "He perked up and got in the car and actually drove it into the pre-op room,” said Rose.

    Since July, these first class fancy rides have been rolling children into the Beacon's Children's Hospital operating room here in South Bend.

    "It can be a scary place, so our job is to help make this less scary. So having this car has ease the transitions to go back to surgery," said Amy Eads-Certified, child life specialist.

    On average, Beacon Children's Hospital does about 1,400 pediatric surgeries a year, making this car a real superstar.

    Susan King president of the Beacon Health foundation says now that they have a new building putting state of the art equipment, means children get great care here in our community.

    "Being able to stay local and take care of your kids locally is significant,” said King. “No longer do our families have to travel to Chicago or Indy to get care. They can stay right here and have the benefits of a children’s hospital."

    What were tears and fears for children heading into surgery has now turned into singing and smiles.

    Rose says she is beyond grateful for this special toy.

    "Even watching him go back to surgery with a smile on his face, and he didn’t even look back, so it was perfect and that alleviated my stress as well,” said Rose.

    The cars were donated by a local family after seeing a story on television of children using them in East Coast hospitals.

    Beacon also has the cars at Elkhart General and they are used at Parkview in Fort Wayne.

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