Children celebrate Halloween early at Memorial Hospital

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — There were no tricks at one Halloween party, but just a whole lot of fun.

“I think she’s gotten to forget about what’s going on and really focus on helping out with everybody,” said Sean Ulanski, who was at the party with his daughter, Harper.

Harper has spent the last couple days at Memorial Hospital, but now she’s spending Thursday picking out a Halloween costume.

“A witch, because I like witches,” Harper said.

The party is part of the Spirit of Children program by Spirit Halloween stores.

Hospital staff say it lets children forget they’re in a hospital, making their stay more enjoyable – like for 7-year-old Bailey Presley’s two-week stay.

“At first it was supposed to be an exciting thing, but she’s had complications, so it’s gotten harder, but we’re still doing good,” said Rebecca Presley, Bailey’s mother.

“It helps normalize their stay. It helps them feel like they are still engaged and still involved with the outside world, even when they’re stuck here in the hospital,” said Krysta Browning, child life specialist at Memorial Hospital.

And no one is left out from the party, including siblings, and even the smallest of patients at the neonatal intensive care unit.

“She’s got a surgery coming too, so we’re really in a crunch and it’s going to be nice for her to have something to look forward to after all that’s done,” Ulanski said.

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