Disney brings magic to patients at Valley Children's Hospital

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Friday, July 1, 2022
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Healthcare met imagination as Valley Children's hospital unveiled its newest installations, bringing Disney Magic to patient care.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Healthcare met imagination as Valley Children's hospital unveiled its newest installations, bringing Disney Magic to patient care.

6-year-old Ezra got to see some of his favorite characters from Moana and Finding Nemo thanks to new Magic Windows in the hospital waiting rooms.

It's all part of Disney's Children's Hospital Initiative.

The project, three years in the making, added interactive displays and ceiling murals with Disney and Pixar characters

"When kids are on the exam table, which can be a scary experience for them, they're looking up and seeing their friends," says Chief Nursing Officer Beverly Hayden-Pugh.

The Disney Movie Moments program is part of a larger, global mission to support children's hospitals and pediatric places of care. In 2018, ABC30's parent company announced a commitment of $100 million to help reimagine the patient experience in children's hospitals.

"At Valley Children's Hospital, children are at the heart of everything, which is why we are so excited to be a part of Disney's initiative to support children's hospitals globally," says ABC30 General Manager Michael Carr.

The Disney Movie Moments mobile theatre will showcase new movies for patients.

This event brought a special private screening of Disney/Pixar's "Lightyear."

The interactive experience went beyond a special video message from stars Chris Evans and Keke Palmer. Pixar animators helped kids draw their favorite characters.

10-year-old Kenny drew Buzz Lightyear's pal, Woody.

Dad, Lee Weber says Kenny has been in the hospital since May 11 when he was diagnosed with Leukemia.

While he's getting stronger each day thanks to chemo, Lee says the hospital staff and special events give Kenny an added spark, helping him wake up in the morning.

"When he has something to look forward to, it makes his stay go by fast," Lee said. "Especially with him missing his mom and sister and all that."

That interaction was equally special for Pixar story artist Nira Liu.

"These characters I'm drawing mean so much to them," Liu said. "It ignites a different level of passion for me to realize how much impact I have."

The hospital also became the first in the country to debut Disney and Pixar-themed hospital gowns -- that's all made possible thanks to the Starlight Children's Foundation.