Mayo pediatric surgical patients create ornaments for a bit of cheer during their hospital stay | Local News

Pediatric surgical patients at Mayo had the opportunity to express their creative spirit this month, rewarded with a sweet treat before heading home to recover and celebrate the holidays.

Kendall Pientok, 3, prepares to hang her ornament on the tree in Mayo’s surgery day department. Pediatric surgical patients were invited to decorate an ornament to hang and take a candy cane.  

Mayo Clinic Health System nurse manager Debra Peterson and Mayo certified child life specialist Jessica Wadium were seeking a way to bring some cheer — and spark some smiles — to the youngest surgical patients at the hospital. They set up an ornament decorating station beside a Christmas tree, giving children a chance to customize their own ornament to hang before grabbing a candy cane from the branches.

Jessica Wadium

“We always look for ways to help staff have positive interactions with patients — we really wanted to do something that would warm their hearts and (that) for the kids would also be a fun activity for them to do before surgery,” says Wadium. “It’s a time with a lot of anticipation and a lot of anxiety, so in addition to getting them ready by talking to the doctors and talking to myself they have time to play and be a kid and release that stress and anxiety.”

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Around a dozen pediatric patients have hung an ornament on the tree this month, and Wadium says the children have “enjoyed being able to put their own touch on their hospital experience. This has provided them with a great way to feel empowered and have a happy memory from their time in the hospital.”

Staff have enjoyed seeing the creativity and having a heartfelt interactions with the kids, Wadium says.

“(This is) something we hope to continue each year and see what other traditions grow from it as well,” she said.

IN PHOTOS: Local community members wear face masks

Holmen, Wis.

Three Holmen best friends show of their masks.

File photo

Jim Falls, Wis.

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La Crescent, MInn.

This is my 3 year old son Julian. I like to get my kids their favorite color and/or character to make it a little more fun to wear.

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Working at the Tomah VA serving our Veterans during this pandemic!

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In My Family We all Wear Our Masks Cindy And Baby V

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mask made by fellow West Salem High School chemistry teacher

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La Crosse punk

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Kylie Mullen

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A retired state social worker and her daughter who is a public school teacher say, “wearing masks when out and about is a simple and loving thing to do for your community.” 

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A mask with bling

Fancy that – a mask with bling!

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Dinner guests

Having dinner guests together at home. Left to right, Don Smith, Mary Rohrer, and Nancy Korn Smith. We asked our readers to show off their masks for all to see. Use a form at https://go.lacrossetribune.com/Photos and send photos our way. We’ll put them in galleries that we will share on social media, and we’ll publish some of them in our papers.

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“I intended this to my likeness and a friendly everyday mask. I was disappointed when i received it. Frankly, it’s ridiculous…so I’ll give readers a good laugh.”

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Peter Thomson, La Crosse Tribune

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The Onalaska dance team performs at halftime.

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October 2: Edgar vs Onalaska

Masked spectators watch the game.

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JB Weiser makes a save for Aquinas.

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Aquinas’ Victoria Nolte serves.

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September 17: Westby vs Aquinas

The Westby tem celebrates a point won.

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La Crescent-Hokah girls soccer head coach Jake Smith talks with player Olivia Meyer.

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Western Technical College student Emery Thompson has his temperature taken by human resources department employee Jackie Kettner before entering the bookstore.

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Face mask wearing students walk to and from classes on the first day of the fall semester on the UW-La Crosse campus.

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Vice President Pence at Dairyland

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Marty Diersen with the Sweet Shop hands a cone to Joy Benson, a member of Logan High School’s class of 1969, dressed as the children’s book character Raggedy Ann.

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Emily Pyrek can be reached at emily.pyrek@lee.net.

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