STONY BROOK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – It’s a sad but true reality, not everyone gets to go home for the holidays.
Some even have to stay in a hospital, but Long Island’s finest are doing their part to make these tough times a little better for patients at Stony Brook University Children’s Hospital.
Holiday cheer is being spread far and wide at the Suffolk county hospital, where patients in four children’s units received special presents plus a surprise visit from two superheroes – “Captain America” and “Captain Marvel.”
“We wanted to bring you a little something special for the holidays,” the superheroes said.
Twelve-year-old Anthony Velez may have just had his appendix removed, but was all smiles holding his brand new LEGO set.
“It’s good so me and my little brother can build it together,” the youngster said.
Just down the hall, 14-year-old David Balderas is in the midst of a serious battle with brain cancer.
“I’m feeling way better but now my hair is gone. I had more hair, but now I have a little bit,” the teen said.
Regardless, Balderas says his spirits are higher and now so is his excitement to play a new board game.
“I like monopoly,” Balderas said.
The presents were purchased by Suffolk County Police Department’s nonprofit organization, “Cops Who Care.”
Its annual event aims to put a smile on each patient’s face and make these tough times a little easier.
“If we could just bring any child, just one child any amount of joy or happiness at this time when they’re here in the hospital and sick, it’s something we love to do,” Michael Williams of the Suffolk County Police Department said.
“Being in a hospital bed and dealing with a lot of what’s happening can be a tough time for children and families here and to get a gift to uplift some spirits and meet an officer not only in uniform but in costume is what it’s all about,” Michael Attard of Stony Brook Children’s Hospital added.
The officers say it’s important to remember giving back is a crucial part of the holiday season and will continue to surprise children for years to come.