Hospital Patients Receive Free Gifts as Part of Child's Legacy

Meghan McRoberts


Christmas came early for The Nebraska Medical Center's youngest patients.

Hospital staff helped wheel in box loads of toys and blankets to give to the children Friday morning.

"Whatever we ask for it seems like we get it. We've just been incredibly lucky," Jennifer Brock said.

Brock started "Aidan's Animals" after her 2- year- old son was killed in a car accident two years ago. The organization collects toys through toy drives and donations to give comfort to children in the hospital.

Brock noticed the hospital treated her youngest daughter so well during the tough time.

"My daughter was given a blanket and a stuffed animal because she was separated from us and needed some comfort because she was only 18 months old and very scared."

That's what gave Brock the idea to help other kids and give Aidan a legacy.

"He was an amazing child, just very exuberant, friendly, very compassionate and he loved animals."

Aidan's Animals has collected more than 1200 toys for kids in area hospitals since July of 2012.

Hospital employees say they see the difference it makes for the kids. "I think it distracts them from everything else that's going on with them, all the medical procedures and just everything that isn't fun," Renae Deitchler said. She's worked at the hospital for more than 20 years.

It also puts some parent's minds at ease. "He wanted to bring so many toys with him when he came," Phylis Coverdell said. Her 4-year-old is receiving treatment. "For him to be able to leave with toys is really nice."

Brock hopes it will help them focus on being a kid instead of a patient

Brock hopes to expand her collections to accept car seats in the future.

Learn more about Aidan's Animals below.