This Hospital Worker Is Looking For Children’s Book Donations to Read to Pediatric Patients

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Stories can be extremely comforting for kids, whether they’re healthy or not. For pediatric patients at MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center in Iowa, having stories read to them helps them feel calm and reminds them that they are not alone.

Hospital employee, Dane Pratt, works as a cardiovascular perfusionist. This means he runs the ECMO machine for patients, like a young 13-month-old boy, Parker who has been hospitalized after contracting two viruses similar to RSV. As he sits with his patients, monitoring their health, Pratt also administers a healthy dose of comfort by reading children’s books to them.

“They can still hear and sometimes it helps to let them know they’re not alone, that someone is there for them,” Pratt told CBS affiliate KCCI.

This simple act of reading can make a tremendous difference for a child and their families. “I had a really scary time when we thought we weren’t going to see another day with Parker and he came to her bedside to read with her,” said Parker’s mother, Cassie Baker. “It just completely melted our hearts.”

Pratt typically checks out books from the library to read to his patients, but now he is reaching out the public for help in securing more books via donation. If you want to donate new or gently used children’s books, please send them to:

MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center
1111 6th Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50314

—Shahrzad Warkentin

Featured photo: kaboompics via Pixabay



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