The thing people don’t think about kids in the hospital are and how little choices they have in their hospital experience. The parents cannot always be there. The kiddo may get an occasional volunteer. But for the most part, a lot of these kiddos are bored alone in their rooms with barely anyone to hang out with. And if their parent is able to be around, its clear by the look on their face what it means to have a child in the hospital.
What we do is give them choices and an experience. We let them tell us if they want to see magic. It’s not a medicine they have to take or a procedure they have no choice in enduring. It’s one of the few things they can choose. All the magic that we do is actually their doing. It’s the chance to laugh and play. It melts my heart when I see a kiddo get so excited to show off a trick I just showed them. For the most part, I see lots of smiles and laughs.
To put this all in perspective, I remember walking into a 12 year old girls room and the dad, who is a big fan of our group, told us how excited him and his daughter was because they were finally leaving the hospital. The kiddo loved having us. I did magic that day and had a blast. I come back two weeks later and knock on a door as I usually do. The dad came up to me and reminded me that I had just seen his daughter. Then I looked at the kiddo and realized it was the same enthusiastic patient I had two weeks early. But unfortunately, this kiddos excitement to leave the hospital was cut short and she was back in the hospital and that energy I had seen had disappeared. I don’t know what had unfortunately transpired in the weeks since I had seen her. But my heart broke. I never had such an emotional experience doing what I do, but that day was the first time I attempted to fight back tears. In days like these, all I can do is try to add a little bit of magic. It’s days like these that remind me why I do what I do.
This experience has changed my life. I have met amazing people, learned the most empowering magic tricks, and contributed smiles to children in the hospital. Remember “great things are brought about and burdens are lightened through the efforts of many hands anxiously engaged in a good cause.” If you want to learn some cool magic, change the lives of kiddos in the hospital, and change your own life, consider applying to be a part of Open Heart Magic.