Standing in her doorway on the fourth floor of Children’s Hospital of Georgia Oct. 30, 5-year-old Khloe Sellars waved and called “Hello! Happy Halloween!” to costumed Augusta University employees as they walked past, pausing to drop handfuls of candy, toys and little treats into her Halloween bucket.
Dressed as Poppy from the movie Trolls, Sellars tried to guess some of the costumes and outright asked some people, “What are you?”
She had been at Children’s for 10 days and was preparing to be released that day. She said she was anxious to go home in south Georgia and spend the day with her brother, whose birthday was that day.
After a few moments, Sellars grabbed the overflowing bucket outside her door and dumped it on her hospital bed, adding to the mountain of candy already collected there.
“That will make her third bucket,” said her guardian, Maranda Lee.
This year’s trick or treat at Children’s Hospital of Georgia was a little bit different, due to Covid-related visitation restrictions. Young patients dressed up and stood in the doorways of their hospital rooms while members of various departments throughout Augusta University Health — many dressed in costume themselves — pulled wagons and pushed carts filled with candy, treats and small toys to distribute. Each child had a bucket placed outside of his or her room for the candy to be placed into to avoid physical contact with the patients.
Eight-year-old A’Shantei Woods, dressed as a sparkly blue-green mermaid and wearing a yellow face mask, sat patiently in a chair just inside her door, grinning and waving as she watched the parade of costumed employees walk by.
“I think this is a good idea,” said her mother, Frankeera Roberson. “It will make them feel a lot better.”
Child Life Specialist Stephanie Grayson expressed gratitude for the local community outside of Augusta University, as they received many donations of candy bags, stuffed animals, books and costumes.
Macie Meeks, another child life specialist who organized the event, said the Children’s staff is appreciative of everyone who donated their time and resources to making the patients happy for Halloween.
“Even though it was different, people still pitched in just as much as they always have and were super generous of their time and money, and we really appreciate it,” she said.