To a child, the prick of a needle or the sting of a shot is often made better by a brightly colored Band-Aid. Imagine the dismay of Brooklyn Hospital’s pediatric patients when a series of budget cuts forced the hospital to hand out brown “adult Band-Aids” to child patients.
As ABC News reports, “The drama that ensued among all the kids who were given adult Band-Aids was unbelievable,” said one father, Anthony Gorman. “It really upset them. I can’t even express the look on Liam’s face after he was given an adult Band-Aid. It was like, ‘this sucks.’”
His son Liam knows a lot about hospitals. Every two to three weeks, the six-year-old makes a daylong trek to Brooklyn Hospital for a blood transplant, the only way to keep his anemia at bay. Liam has Diamond Blackfan Anemia, a rare condition in which the bone marrow doesn’t produce red blood cells. The little boy is often sidelined by his condition, becoming fatigued and pale from the lack of red blood cells. The difference after a transfusion is incredible. His father, a paramedic, likens it to “a match on gasoline” and says the transfusion allows his son to go at “full throttle.”
Liam decided to procure kid-friendly Band-Aids for his friends at the hospital. He’s partial to bacon-shaped Band-Aids, but he wanted to be sure that his friends had their favorites too. Last April, he asked his dad’s paramedic friends to donate boxes of colorful Band-Aids to the Brooklyn Hospital Center. Within a few weeks, the Gormans had collected more than 500 boxes of kid-friendly Band-Aids.
The impact of a cool Band-Aid may be hard for an adult to grasp, but Liam’s dad sums it up well. “I see kids next to Liam getting chemotherapy or a 52-syllable medication, so to just put the kid in the room and have a mountain of Band-Aids in front of them and say, ‘Pick one out.’ It gives the kid some sense of control. They can pick something out that fits their personalities and it puts a smile on their faces.”
In addition to his Band-Aid drive, the Gormans also hold blood drives in honor of Liam. Even Liam’s elementary school has gotten involved, hosting a blood, bone marrow and Band-Aid drive on February 7th. Since Brooklyn Hospital Center has a stockpile of kid Band-Aids, the proceeds of this drive will go to Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York. As Gorman said, “Once they’re all set, we’ll find another pediatrics department that needs them. We’ll do it one drive at a time.”
Photo thanks to Adrigu via Flickr