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St. Anthony’s Supers Provide Pillows for Pediatric Patients

July 11th, 2016

A group of students from St. Anthony’s High School, made their way into the hearts of children in the Department of Pediatrics at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip by making and donating superhero pillows.

The St. Anthony Supers was established in the 2015-2016 school year by Hannah McGowan, President, and Paige Bottari, Vice President, with the support of Mr. Nicholas Vasiliades, a teacher at the school and the Club Moderator.

Members of the Club, which is sanctioned by St. Anthony’s High School, use the dues contributed by the 50-75 students who participate, to buy supplies to make the pillows. They meet once a week to make the superhero-themed pillows, with their personal sewing machines then deliver them to the children in the Department of Pediatrics at Good Samaritan.

“They did some research,” says Pegeen McGowan, Senior Vice President Internal Audit & Compliance for Catholic Health Services and the mother of Hannah, “and felt that pillows would make hospitalized children feel special and provide comfort at the same time.”

The students came to Good Samaritan to present about 50 of the 12-inch pillows to the children, says Kathleen Fenton, Director, Child Life Program. She says the children use them all the time for emotional and physical support. “They hold them against themselves for abdominal support after surgery. It’s very helpful for them.”

Fenton says that when children are hospitalized, staff looks for way in which to help them feel comfortable and in safe hands. The pillows are used by the child life team, doctors and nurses. “These pillows celebrate our ‘superheroes’ that had surgery and are encouraged to be out of bed and moving to assist in healing. The pillows can be seen throughout the hospital being hugged by the children as they walk to the playroom and off the unit for tests and procedures.”

Fenton commends the students at St. Anthony’s for remembering the children who may be having a difficult time and adds that their support of Good Samaritan’s hospitalized children and their families is often the best medicine of all.

Caption: Ivana Vizcarrondo, Child Life Specialist; Emily McGowan; Hannah McGowan, Supers Founder and President; and Mr. Nicholas Vasiliades, teacher and Club Moderator display the superhero pillows they made for children at Good Samaritan Hospital.