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A small gesture to help even smaller kids with big health problems at Sacred Heart

SPOKANE, Wash. - Spreading joy through music. A local group, Songs for Kids, pays a visit each Tuesday to Sacred Heart Children's Hospital. Staying in a hospital isn't the easiest experience for anyone, let alone, a child.

This group tries to help make it easier for families. Providing a distraction for children to take their mind off their injuries and illness. Songs for Kids has been making the weekly trip for four years now.

When most couples welcome a new addition to the family, their thoughts might then turn to getting a crib, diapers, and baby clothes. It's different for some families at Sacred Heart Children's Hospital. Their priorities are making sure their child is alive and healthy.

4 News Now spent some time at the children's hospital Tuesday morning, catching up with families as Songs for Kids performed for patients. 

The positive notes and vocals were overwhelming, the vibe was contagious.It's not what you'd expect from a hospital. 

"What you get to bring is just a little bit of joy, just a little bit of something to the mundane," said Scott Ingersoll, performer with Songs for Kids.

Songs for Kids is belting out your child's favorite household songs every Tuesday, taking over the playroom at Sacred Heart. It's for kids who would, otherwise, listen to hospital white noise from their rooms. These kids aren't having the easiest time, many are nursing injuries.

"She broke her bones, two of her bones in her left arm," said Dale Arntzen. Arntzen's granddaughter was admitted this week. 

Patients at the hospital are also fighting serious illnesses.

"He was diagnosed as Potter's syndrome," said Amanda Douglas, mother of two-year-old Ethan.

Ethan is a patient at Sacred Heart Children's Center. He was diagnosed while still in his mom's womb. It's a rare defect in a baby's kidneys. The survival rate is low.

"Dr. Barber told me he wasn't going to tell me. He said, if you knew - it would just get you down," Douglas said.

Looking at Ethan now, you'd think he's like any other toddler. The two-year-old is more than just a cute face, he's a fighter. This little man has already had four surgeries.

His mom is thanking the children's hospital for their positivity in giving her baby a chance from the moment he was born.

"All of the doctors came in and they made him breathe and he did not die," Douglas said.

Ethan is defying the odds with a smile strong enough to light up a room.

"He's a happy boy. He's doing good," Douglas said.

She said in situations like Ethan's, it can be easy to look see the bad. But the team at Sacred Heart never let that happen.

"When things get really hard, you just have to tell yourselves - hey, we're staying strong. I've got kids. I have a reason," Douglas said.

The staff at Sacred Heart helps motivate her, spreading positivity. Sometimes it's a small reminder, sometimes it's through a cheerful tune.

Ethan isn't completely out of the woods just yet. He still has a long road ahead. He and his family are taking it one day at a time.


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