The Taste of Success

Posted on Oct 19, 2018

Maia bakes with Kendall Williams and Kelly Boyd in her hospital room
A hospital stay can be made better with a little home cooking. Kendall Williams, left, and Kelly Boyd, right, bake red velvet cookies with Maia in her hospital room at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital.

A hint of warm sugar permeates the air.

Nurses with curious noses take turns poking their heads into the room at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.

“They’re pink velvet cookies,” explains almost-13-year-old Maia, perched on the edge of her bed mixing neon green, orange and purple food coloring into small bowls of frosting. “Red velvet is my favorite, but I wanted these to be pink.”

Between the bubbly laughter and gentle hum of the oven, it’s easy to forget that under the dusting of flour there is still a hospital room and in place of aprons there are gloves and safety gowns.

Behind the transformation is patient academic services school teacher Kendall Williams and Child Life specialist Kelly Boyd. They brought everything needed for fresh red velvet cupcake cookies, right down to the portable oven, and guide Maia through the recipe she has selected. It’s a small lesson in fractions and cooking chemistry but also a chance for relaxation, conversation and an escape from the tedium of a hospital stay.

Maia smiles as she takes a bite of the warm, freshly frosted confection. Sometimes a cookie is more than a cookie. It’s a little piece of home away from home.


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