Inova Loudoun Hospital’s pediatric unit has a state of the art play area, but not all of its patients get to enjoy it. Its staff has unveiled an innovative way to bring playtime to patients with contact precautions or serious illnesses.
The mobile playroom, a playroom on wheels, is a product of the Oscar Litwak Foundation. 4-year-old Oscar died of kidney cancer and he was unable to enjoy the hospital playroom.
Inova volunteer Cristi Leslie was in child life specialist training when she discovered the needs of toys for pediatric patients in the unit and in the OR waiting room. Having heard of the Oscar Litwak Foundation, she reached out to the Junior Women’s Club of Loudoun, which agreed to sponsor the mobile playroom.
Five months later, and the mobile playroom is ready to use — fully stocked with two-years’ worth of toys the patients get to keep.
“It gives them a sense of normalcy and it relaxes them right away, and that’s one of the main things that child life specialist does,” said Leslie, “It’s to just relieve some anxiety and some fear and some misconceptions that families and children might have.”