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13th Sep 2017

Nurses throw birthday party for girl separated from family by Irma

Willow was diagnosed with leukaemia days before her third birthday.

Keeley Ryan

Hospital staff went above and beyond to throw a birthday celebration for a three year old girl separated from her family in Hurricane Irma.

Willow Stine was diagnosed with leukaemia on Friday September 8 – just two days before the storm was due to hit and before her birthday, according to CNN.

The toddler is now with her mum at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St Petersburg, Florida getting ready for her chemotherapy.

But with Hurricane Irma approaching, family and friends were told to evacuate or stay at home so they could ride out the storm.

Because of this, nobody was able to make the drive out to the hospital to celebrate Willow’s birthday on Sunday – and her mum Jennifer had no access to gifts, cake or decorations.

She said told CNN:

“I was like, I don’t know how much more I can take.

“My baby’s turning 3 and has cancer and on top of that my 4-year old daughter and husband are an hour and a half away in a hurricane. I’m just trying to process all this.”

That’s when the kind hearted hospital staff stepped in.

The nurses and the child life specialists at the hospital decided to organise a third birthday party for Willow with the resources and supplies the hospital already had.

Danielle Caci, the public relations manager for the hospital, explained the the gifts are donated to the department throughout the year – so the team made sure to pick out some Frozen ones for Willow.

She told HuffPost:

“The gifts are donated to the child life department throughout the year, so the team picked out gifts for her. They found out she loved ‘Frozen,’ so those were the types of gifts they picked out.

“The cakes are made by local grocery stores and saved in the freezer in our cafeteria for patient birthdays when needed.”

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital shared a video from the celebrations on Youtube, where Willow was excitedly tucking into the cake – and, of course, presents.

The three year old cheered “I always wanted this!” after opened each of her gifts, which included a doll, a game, books, Play-Doh and a bubble machine.

Featured image via Facebook/Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital