It’s a sad fact that while many of us are lucky enough to go about our daily lives, happy and healthy, taking so many things for granted, there are countless people of all ages in hospital at any one time. Some of them are dealing with minor illnesses and injuries, while others are coping with life-threatening problems and chronic diseases of all kinds.
The wonderful workers of hospitals work tirelessly, each and every day, not just to heal and help these people, but to bring some joy and positivity into their lives as well. And that goes for everyone, from the doctors and nurses to the custodians, as this amazing story proves.YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot
One wouldn’t necessarily expect a hospital custodian to be the hero of a story involving sick kids, but Ki-Jana ‘KJ’ Upshaw is no normal janitor!
He works at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Ohio, and his job routinely involves cleaning up and changing the linens of the beds across all 82 patient rooms at the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit.
It’s a big job, but KJ often goes above and beyond the call of duty, taking time to get to know the young patients who occupy each room.YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot
Not too long ago, KJ met a 7-year-old patient called Cohen Bramlee. He noticed that Cohen was a huge fan of Legos. The little guy always seemed to be building something with the colorful little bricks.
KJ then spotted another young boy who also loved Legos, named Keagan Atkins, in a neighboring room. The custodian immediately thought that the two kids could be good buddies, but they never really got to leave their rooms so didn’t even know about each other’s existence.
He decided to introduce them! The hospital has strict isolation rules preventing patients from going into other rooms, but KJ was still able to chat to the kids and tell them about one another, delivering messages back and forth and helping them show off their Lego creations to each boy via the connecting window between the two rooms.YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot
Every little bit of happiness and comfort can make a big difference in hospital, especially for children, and it really helped both Cohen and Keagan to have this rather unique and special friendship while they were recovering from their respective issues.
They both looked forward to hearing about the other’s Lego building exploits and sending little messages via KJ.
Cohen’s mom was touched by the gesture.
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It was kind of like a daily report on what the other child was building, and so he kind of enjoyed getting to hear about what someone else had in common with him while he was here, and just getting to talk to KJ, because, you know, our world is pretty small right now. We were in that room, and Cohen was in isolation, he couldn’t leave, and it was just a bright spot in the day when [KJ] would come in and just sit there and chat with Cohen for a second.
Eventually, on the day that Keagan was ready to leave the hospital and go home, KJ helped arrange a special meeting between the two boys, with Cohen wearing a mask to protect himself and giving his new buddy a Lego set as a goodbye gift! But the pair’s story hasn’t ended there.
The boys’ mothers are keeping in touch and looking forward to arranging playdates in the future when Cohen gets out of the hospital. A lifelong friendship might have been created within those hospital walls, and it was all thanks to one wonderful custodian.
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