The Story Behind Our Wagons…
A rolling wagon always stops traffic here at Nationwide Children’s.
Whether it’s to wave goodbye to a discharged patient happily riding out the door with their balloons and personal belongings or a more somber time as these same wagons roll children to surgery or their latest chemo treatment.
Wagons have been our preferred mode of patient transportation since the 1960’s – we currently rely on more than 60 Little Tyke Explorer Wagons in our “fleet” and our patient transportation team estimates each wagon rolls 12-15 miles around the campus every day. That’s a lot of rolling and each wagon lasts 1-2 years before “retirement.”
Our patients love the wagons – they’re much less intimidating than a wheel chair and they hold everything including patients, car seats and special possessions. Check out this story from our dispatcher/transporter, Tiffany Smith:
“Brielle loves seeing the bright faces of Patient Transport. She can hear us before she sees us come around the corner. As we pull in to her room, her hands grab the rails of her crib, her binky slides to one side of her mouth to make room for her huge smile. We may be taking her to get her dialysis treatment for the day, or chemo treatment that is needed, but she knows that the ride there and back will be a blast. Brielle loves traveling in the wagons to her testing sites when she can. We pile the wagon full of all her pillows, her favorite purple blanket, and her doll that she does not travel without. With her parents living far away and having to care for other children, Brielle looks forward to the trips in the wagon, even if it is for tests.”
Each of our wagons is purchased by the community with a $250 donation and many of these donor stories are amazing. Each donor or community group can put a personal message on the wagon. Here’s one of my favorites from 5 year-old junior philanthropist Vivian Blevins who recently purchased two wagons for the hospital . How does an entrepreneurial kindergartener raise $200? Vivian sold stickers, just a dime each, at her parents work and at businesses throughout the community. This is one very persuasive little girl! Her hard work paid off!
Way to go Vivian! We’re always in need of more wagons (especially for the new hospital). Click here to help us keep rolling!