Angels Baseball players David Fletcher, Jared Walsh, Luis Rengifo, and Jo Adell visited with patients and their families for the very first time in person, at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach since the COVID-19 pandemic more than two and a half years ago.
“This is our first in-person visit and we are just thrilled,” says Rita Goshert, director, Cherese Mari Laulhere Child Life Program, Miller Children’s & Women’s. “You can tell by the smiles on the patients that they are just loving it and the parents are really touched that we were able to do this today.”
The players made their way around the hospital surprising patients in the playrooms and at their bedsides. Fletcher, Walsh, Rengifo, and Adell spent time with patients and families, giving them autographed baseball hats, soft baseballs, and plush Angels rally monkeys while talking with them, and helping the patients feel more comfortable.
While giving gifts, players encouraged the patients they met, reassuring them on how strong they were while undergoing treatment. Cooper, a pediatric cancer patient, was extremely excited to see the players, talking to them about their recent performances and giving them tips for upcoming games. Fletcher and Walsh were thankful for Cooper’s helpful pointers. Parents of the patients were appreciative of the players visiting their children while being hospitalized.
“This really means so much to me as a parent,” says Erin Cannon, mother of Cooper. “Seeing these players take the time out of their busy schedules in between games to visit the patients of the hospital is such a privilege. The best part of this visit is being able to see my son happy during his stay at Miller Children’s & Women’s.”
During Rengifo and Adell’s visit, they wrote and helped pass out Flames of Hope cards with empowering messages for the hematology and oncology patients to help spread hope for children with cancer and sickle cell disease.
The Cherese Mari Laulhere Child Life Program at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach coordinates special events to help make the hospital experience more positive for children. Child life specialists help patients and families cope with hospitalization in every area of the hospital from General Pediatrics to the Emergency Department.
MemorialCare is the Official Healthcare Partner of Angels Baseball, helping make this patient visit and future visits possible.