Trick-or-Treating with the Secret Service
I love Halloween with our patients. The costumes. The treats. Spending the day with the Secret Service.
Ok – this was not the typical Halloween at Nationwide Children’s. We learned on Monday that Ann Romney, wife of Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney, would be in Columbus and was asking to stop by and bring some Halloween treats for our patients.
First, let me clarify our view on candidate and elected official visits to the hospital. We welcome them. It helps these important leaders learn more about the hospital’s work and often presents a great venue to advocate for children’s health care issues.
In 2010 we welcomed President Obama and every fall we host a Candidates’ Forum inviting all local, state and federal candidates, including both Presidential candidates and their spouses to attend. That invitation remains open year-round and we were excited to hear that Mrs. Romney would be visiting along with Cindy McCain, Jane Portman and Ohio’s Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor.
So what happens when a Presidential Candidate or their spouse comes to visit? A lot! The Secret Service knows how to do their job with great precision and with great respect for not disturbing patient care. Yes, they do wear ear pieces and speak into their sleeves and no, they don’t always wear dark glasses.
Just a quick word on Mrs. Romney’s visit – the part you didn’t see in any media coverage. We had a young patient in medical isolation (to protect her from infection) who really wanted to join in the visit but couldn’t leave her room. Mrs. Romney took the time to extend her schedule so she could leave the group, put on the isolation garb required and visit with this young lady. I wasn’t in the room but I think this was a very special moment for both of them.
So our Halloween was full of more treats than tricks. Our wonderful Child Life staff set up a “trick or treat street” for patients with more than 50 angels, ghosts and even Iron Man parading through in wheelchairs, cribs and wagons. Thank you also to the staff of Westin Great Southern for volunteering to pass out treats. I’m sorry that these children couldn’t be at home for this spooky season but I’m glad we brought some smiles and special surprises to them.
Click here to see more photos from Ann Romney’s visit.