Ten-year-old Izzy knows how to seize an opportunity. During a surprise virtual visit with Tampa Bay Lightning player Pat Maroon, Izzy asks him if he wants to watch her play air hockey.
How could he say no?
Izzy grabs a computer and marches to a Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital recreation room. She carefully angles the computer so Maroon can watch her and turns on the air hockey table. Soon, she’s showing off her moves for Maroon, who played for the 2019 Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues.
“You’re really good,” he says.
Lightning players and other celebrities often visit children at the hospital, but the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has limited in-person visitation. The virtual visit is a way to cheer the kids from afar.
It makes an impression on Izzy. After the visit, a beaming Izzy looks at her mom, Chrissy, and says: “A real hockey player just watched me play hockey!”
As the vaccine comes to the frontline workers, a world of possibilities begins to open up.
For Gavin, the hospital isn’t all about challenges and adversity. It’s about giving joy to others.
The holidays she has altered to care for kids are too many to count, but as she retires, she leaves much for patients and colleagues to be thankful.
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