Stockings Fill Hearts of Hospitalized Children

As Reported in Fountain Valley View – Dec 29, 2011

On Christmas Eve, Santa Claus visited children admitted to Fountain Valley Regional Hospital with a promise of something special for them to wake up to in the morning.

Nearly 70 stockings were filled with toys and gifts for the young patients who had to spend Christmas Day in the hospital. “Santa told me this is the first place he stops because it’s sadder here,” said Zachary Gelvezon, a 12-year-old Fountain Valley resident who was admitted to the hospital after a severe asthma attack. “I was sad I couldn’t be home.”

The nurses and doctors in the pediatrics unit said everyone wants to be home with their families on Christmas, but of course hospitals don’t close for the holidays. “Someone has to be here all-yearround,” said Dr. Zacharia Reda, pediatrics chairman. “(The staff) knows it’s their duty to serve the community and take care of the kids.”

Nearly 50 giant stockings were filled this year plus 25 smaller stockings for the babies in the neonatal intensive-care unit.
Children in the hospital woke up to find stockings at their bedside filled with gifts Christmas morning.

Gifts were donated by hospital employees, Pacific Ambulance, the Fountain Valley Firefighters Association, Monarch HealthCare and other groups in the community, according to hospital officials.

The Christmas-stockings program was created five years ago with the help of Joni’s Angels, a volunteer organization that collects donations for the event on the hospital’s behalf.