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

Three Greater Victoria schools claim climate awards

Awards handed out by British Columbia Sustainable Energy Association

Tips from BC Ferries for travelling this Canada Day long weekend

Tips from BC Ferries for smooth sailing this Canada Day long weekend

Field named for longtime Hampton Little League volunteer

‘Curt Waldner Field’ recognizes years of dedication put in by former little league dad

Saanich honours lifetime of conservation efforts

Mary Haig-Brown wins environmental award for 40 years of extensive volunteer work

Sidney lowers flag to half mast in honour of former fire chief

Mel Baldwin died June 21 at the age of 83; served Sidney Fire for 46 years

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

WITH VIDEO: Two endangered marmots released on Vancouver Island

With three new pups born in May, two more Vancouver Island Marmots… Continue reading

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Heroism medal for B.C. woman who tried to save wheelchair-bound man stuck on rail tracks

Julie Callaghan awarded Carnegie Medal from U.S.-based foundation for ‘extraordinary heroism’

Most Read