Keegan’s Big Night at the Galaxy Lounge!
Our new performance space helps patients relax “off stage.”
Three year-old Keegan showed up dressed to impress for the grand opening evening of the hospital’s new Galaxy Lounge. In his Sock Monkey slippers and hospital gown, Keegan was the first to arrive and enjoyed time with “Wonder Bear” while he waited for festivities to begin. Little did Keegan know but he was “officially” the first patient to enjoy our beautiful new performance space on the 6th floor of the new main hospital.
The Galaxy Lounge was designed as an “off-stage” area where patients can come enjoy activities and movies as well as performances and visits from outside entertainers. In the past, these activities were held in our main lobby. That space limited the number of children who could participate and the area was open to the public so there was a lack of privacy for our children to relax and feel comfortable. The new Galaxy Lounge can accommodate any child able to travel for an activity whether in a bed, wheelchair or their own two feet.
The room was described to me as a “home theater on steroids.” Features include a hi-definition movie projector with a 16 foot widescreen, 6 flat screen monitors that drop-down from the ceiling to the optimal viewing angle for beds or wheelchairs. When the lights are low the walls of the Lounge glow with an LED galaxy of stars to add to the magical atmosphere. Finally, the room is wired into the hospital’s television network so any activity in the Galaxy Lounge can now be viewed in the patient rooms.
Activities in the Galaxy Lounge are managed by our Child Life team. The inaugural activity was a “you-build-it” workshop from our friends at Home Depot. Twice a year, dozens of employee volunteers travel to the hospital with tools, glue and wonderful wooden kits for the children to assemble.
Keegan jumped right to it – selecting a truck to build. Him mom, Andrea was by his side enjoying watching her little boy smile. “We come to the hospital a lot and these kinds of activities really make it easier for him.”
I left Keegan to his truck building as more patients arrived for the evening. Special thanks to companies like Home Depot who volunteer their time and talents for our patients. Stacy Johns, with the Hilliard Home Depot has been volunteering at Children’s for 14 years. She was marveling at the new space, “This will be wonderful when we visit for Christmas to help the kids make ornaments – this will be the perfect spot!”
Stacy’s comment was a sad reminder that we will have children using this space over the holiday season but I’m happy to know we have great new places for them like the Galaxy Lounge and wonderful volunteers like Stacy.