Professional baseball player and philanthropist Jake Peavy strummed a guitar and sang songs for young patients and their parents during a holiday party in the classroom at USA Health Children's & Women's Hospital.
By Casandra Andrews
Professional baseball player and philanthropist Jake Peavy strummed a guitar and sang songs for young patients and their parents during a holiday party in the classroom at USA Health Children's & Women's Hospital in Mobile on Dec. 18, 2019.
Peavy, who is from Mobile and attended St. Paul's Episcopal School, also signed baseballs. When a little boy pointed to his World Series ring, Peavy slipped it off and let the child wear it for a while. Peavy asked the children what they wanted for Christmas.
“A dirt bike” one little boy shouted.
During the performance Peavy and a friend played “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and even “Happy Birthday” to a 16-year-old who was celebrating her birthday.
Radio personality Mary Booth and Mixon the reindeer also entertained part guests with stories featuring Santa and his eight other reindeer. The jolly old elf surprised young patients during the festivities, handing out gifts and posing for photos.
Special events are planned by members of the Mapp Family and Child Life staff to help reduce stress and normalize the experience for hospitalized children and their caregivers. The staff strives to bring the joy of the season to the families who can’t leave the hospital during the holidays.
Research has shown that allowing children and youth to continue socialization through parties and celebrations while hospitalized is a great catalyst toward normalizing the hospital environment, said Kim Thompson-Yates, coordinator of Mapp Family and Child Life services at Children’s and Women’s Hospital.
This is the third year that Peavy and members of his band have visited sick children at the hospital.