New Program Helps Empower Hospitalized Children

Lacie Lowry, News 9

The hospital can be a scary place for children who are sick, so Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center has kicked off a new program to empower their tiniest patients.

The hospital enlisted the help of a children's author from Oklahoma to get kids on board.

On Wednesday, Children's Hospital launched the first-ever Caped KIDsaders program in the U.S.

The message lets kids know they are strong and “CAPE-able,” so all of them get bright yellow superhero capes.

Patients at Children's also receive the book "That Medicine I Will Not Take!" written by Alonzo Cannon of Oklahoma.

“A friend sent me a text and said both her kids are sick and she walked into her daughter's room and her daughter jumped up on her bed, pointed at her and said, ‘I'm not taking that medicine,’” Cannon told News 9.

Cannon wrote about it and has 14 other books planned to foster bravery and fearlessness in the face of disease or sickness.

9-year-old Isaiah Andrews has a blood clot in his leg, but the cape and the all the fun made him smile.

“I walked a little and my leg is not hurting a lot,” Isaiah said.

10-year-old Tony Ojeda is on dialysis, waiting for a new kidney.

He said the KIDsader program makes him feel better.

Maryanne Ketcher just had twin baby girls and one was born with a heart defect.

That diagnosis has been hard for the twins’ big sister to understand.

“She didn't really know why her sister was here until basically today and coming down here helped her,” Ketcher said. “It's definitely good for me because this is actually something that's put a smile on my face instead of scared me,” she added.

Cannon beamed as the kid’s faces lit up when they wore their capes.

“It's a little bit of escapism for them and it really empowers them because they see, I can do this,” he said.

Cannon chose his home state as the launching point, but hopes to make the non-profit program nationwide.

Five other hospitals are already interested.

Click here to learn more about the program.