Michelle Kataneo and nurses from the post part floor at the Victoria General Hospital doled out gifts to children children staying at the hospital over Christmas. They collected more than 100 toys and $1,000 in gift cards. (Photos courtesy VIHA)

Nurses donate gifts to sick kids at Victoria General Hospital

Medical staff forego secret Santa to dole out more than 100 gifts children on pediatric floor

Nurses at the Victoria General Hospital scrapped gifts for each other, for gifts for their patients.

Staff of the post partum floor of VGH swapped their Secret Santa program for a toy drive, dressing up as Santa’s favourite reindeer and doling out the more than 100 toys and $1,000 in gift cards to sick children and families staying there Christmas Day.

“(The children) were so excited, there was one teen who was lying in her bed under the covers but not sleeping,” said organizer Michelle Kataneo. “We handed her gifts… and within two minutes, she came out dressed as an elf and said she wanted to help us out.”

Kataneo, a nurse at the hospital for 19 years, alongside half the other registered nurses working their floor Christmas Day, handed out gifts collected since mid December while the other half stayed back to care of the mothers and their newborns.

“It is such a great place to work, it is such a happy to place to work most of the time. I thought it would be nice to spread a little bit of that to another floor,” Kataneo said.

“I had friends show up at my house with bags of gifts, it was pretty awesome. I know we have an amazing community, it just reinforces how wonderful our community is.”

ALSO SEE: Santa visits Victoria General Hospital’s littlest patients

Donators dropped off gift certificates and bags of toys for two-and-a-half weeks leading up to Christmas to have enough toys for more than 20 youth and gift cards for families that would be spending the night there on Christmas.

She said many parents won’t even leave their children to go for a coffee unless they have a gift card, preferring to save money for their sick children.

“We all walked off the pediatric floor and thought this was the best Christmas ever, we weren’t spending it with family but we were spending it with work family,” Kataneo said. “There are people in there in the worst time of their lives with sick kids and to make it even a little bit better was pretty awesome.”


@arnoldlimphoto
arnold.lim@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Saanich filmmaker wins award at Indigenous awards in Calgary

Barbara Todd Hager took home the 2019 Inspire Arts Award

Mix of sun and cloud in Thursday’s forecast

Plus a look ahead at the weekend forecast

Channel your inner pirate in epic Canada-wide treasure hunt

200 treasure chests hidden among trails and waterways, lots of prizes to be claimed

Victoria one of five B.C. cities to launch new youth volunteer program

Youth 20/20 Can gives young Canadians volunteer opportunities

Victoria teen killed on field trip near Sooke

Second youth also injured in falling tree incident at Camp Barnard

VIDEO: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to be re-released with new footage

‘Avatar’ holds global box office record at $2.788 billion, while ‘Endgame’ stands at $2.743 billion…

POLL: Do you support the government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion?

The federal government announced Tuesday its approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Comox Samaritan tucks bear into blanket, gets a big surprise

Conservation officer says person lucky after animal hit by car in record year for bear encounters

Elias Pettersson wins Calder Trophy as NHL’s top rookie

Vancouver forward first Canuck to win award since Pavel Bure in 1992

FVRD chair calls B.C. incineration plan for Philippines waste ‘disturbing’

Metro Vancouver ‘uniquely capable’ of safely disposing of waste coming back to Canada, say officials

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Shovels could be in the ground on Trans Mountain by September, CEO says

Ian Anderson points to weeks likely required for NEB to reinstate 2016 regulatory record

RCMP allows officers to grow beards

Members can now wear beards and goatees, as long as they’re neatly groomed

Most Read