With his IV in tow, the 8-year-old patient's eyes lit up Monday as he unwrapped an early Christmas present at Wheeling Hospital.
And the Target workers who donated the toy and many others got to see the boy smile with delight as he tore through the colorful paper to reveal a Star Wars Lego set.
''It's pretty awesome,'' said Target worker Mary Kay Roseberry, describing what it was like to see the boy's reaction.
Photo by Shelley Hanson
Target employees pose with toys they donated Monday to Wheeling Hospital’s Center for Pediatrics. The group also donated toys to Ohio Valley Medical Center. Clockwise, from left, are workers Karen Sleeth, Mary Kay Roseberry, Carly Green, Kim Crosby, Johnny Doyle, nurse Kate Sparkman, Eugene Herculese as Santa, and Ames Livingston.
Roseberry said she and her fellow employees - Karen Sleeth, Carly Green, Kim Crosby, Johnny Doyle, Eugene Herculese and Ames Livingston - also planned to donate toys to Ohio Valley Medical Center.
''We're glad we can give back to the community especially children who have to be away from their families at Christmas,'' said Livingston.
Wheeling Hospital nurses Chris Minch and Kate Sparkman said they wished people would donate toys year-round to give to children staying in the pediatric center. But having something to give them at Christmas is special.
''If they're having a bad day and you pull out one of those stuffed toys, the hurt is easier to take,'' Minch said of the children.
Sparkman said one of her patients named his IV pole ''George,'' and when he received a stuffed toy puppy, he named it ''George,'' too.
''There was a lady whose son was here one Christmas, and they bring in toys every year,'' she added.
Sparkman said she is scheduled to work Christmas day, but she doesn't mind.
''Somebody has to take care of the kids. ... The kids have a special place in our hearts,'' Sparkman said.
Roseberry said Target workers also make donations to the Soup Kitchen in Wheeling, breast cancer awareness events and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.