KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The man in red made the rounds at Bronson Children's Hospital Wednesday with a little help from his elves.
Despite pandemic protocols, Santa was able to bring smiles to faces spending Christmas far from home.
The technology was originally intended to help kids keep up with class during a hospital stay, but the pandemic had the elves thinking on their curly-toed feet.
One visit made a little girl smile for the first time all day. She told the staff at Bronson she thinks the visit will help her feel better.
“During the pandemic, we’ve had to be creative and find ways to still offer therapeutic programming for our pediatric patients,” says child life specialist Wendy Kellogg. “It was wonderful to give our patients this chance to visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus. We know children are comfortable with seeing people on screens, but having the robot here made this a unique experience. It was heartwarming to see all the smiles it brought to our patients and staff.”
Mr. and Mrs. Claus navigated the halls using a tablet and mobile stand funded by the Bronson Health Foundation, the robot is called the Bronson Robotics Interface for Teaching and Engagement, or BRITE.