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Nursing Students Invite Citi Field Star to Children’s Hospital

Nursing studentsBest friends Katie Daza and Alexandra Maiello, both seniors in Stony Brook University’s School of Nursing, had completed their pediatrics rotation when they got into a discussion about how excited kids get when they meet a professional athlete and get an autograph.

“I knew that some of the Islanders had been to [Stony Brook] Children’s Hospital, but I didn’t think any of the Mets had ever been to Stony Brook,” said Katie, a Queens, New York, native.

“Katie’s obsessed with the Mets,” said Alexandra, from Holbrook, New York. “I mentioned to Alex that more and more athletes were “talking” to fans on Instagram and Twitter,” explained Katie, “and then we had one of those moments where we both said, ‘Let’s do it.’ ”

Katie had seen on Instagram that Mets second baseman and outfielder Eric Young Jr. had visited some Little League teams. “We sent him a Twitter message asking if he’d pay a visit to Stony Brook Children’s Hospital,” said Katie, “and within five minutes he messaged back saying he’d do it.”

After some back and forth with Young’s agent, a date was set for April 17. Young spent about three hours visiting patients in the Children’s Hospital and Cancer Center.

TextIn anticipation of the visit, Stony Brook Medicine’s Child Life Services Department hosted a Mets Day celebration, during which pediatric patients made signs and a banner welcoming Young to Stony Brook.

“Being in the hospital is just nightmare for a child,” said Alexandra. “I’m hoping that this visit makes the children happy for a day. A better mental state can help with recovery.”

Alexandra is interested in labor and delivery and hopes to be a midwife one day. She credits Stony Brook and its School of Nursing for the great learning experience she’s had. “There’s so much more opportunity here because there’s a hospital affiliated with the school.”

Katie, who is interested in becoming a pediatric nurse, would like to continue to bring high-profile, smile-inducing visitors to young patients. “It wasn’t that hard to do, and it is so great for the kids,” said Katie. And even though it was easy to tweet a celebrity, the two like-minded friends never thought about reaching out to one for their own benefit. “That’s nursing,” said Alexandra. “You do something for others.”

—Joanne Morici



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