Construction worker plays real-life game of 'Where's Waldo?' with kids in hospital

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Construction workers at a children's hospital in Indiana have started a little game that's bringing big smiles to some of the smallest patients. (Heidi Prescott/Beacon Health System)

Construction workers at a children's hospital in Indiana have started a little game that's bringing big smiles to some of the smallest patients.

Worker Jason Haney is helping build a new wing on Memorial Children's Hospital in South Bend, but he's already giving back so much more to the young patients than a new facility.

He and his teenage daughter constructed an 8-foot cutout of the character "Where's Waldo?", and as he works on the construction site, Haney plays an epic game of "Where's Waldo?" with the children who try to spot the character from their hospital windows.

He hides it around the hospital for the kids to find. It's been a huge hit with the patients - who say it makes them happy.



"Everyday in that four-day time when she woke up in the morning she was, 'Where's Waldo, Where's Waldo?', so that kind of helped out a lot too. Just knowing that she was more focused on that than focused on treatments and the pain and stuff that she was feeling at that time," said Becky Garza, whose daughter Neveah recently stayed at the hospital.

Haney says his daughter was the inspiration for the game. His family knew all-too-well what it felt like to have a child cooped up in the hospital for an extended period of time.

"My daughter, she had a stroke when my wife was carrying her in utero," Haney explained. "When she was about 3, we noticed something wasn't quite right. They did a CAT scan and they found out there was brain damage and were talking about her in the fact that she wouldn't learn past the third grade level, and it just devastated us."

Fortunately, her progress far exceeded expectations.

"She's 18 now and going to be starting Ball State next year," he proudly added. "She graduated with honors. There goes that third grade level thing that first doctor told us."



His life-size version of hide-and-seek with Waldo has provided a breath of fresh air into the children's hospital.

"I've been watching the kids run over to the window and look out for Waldo," Heidi Prescott, the hospital's media relations specialist, told ABC News. "On a daily basis, our pediatric patients, they look forward to going to the windows in their playrooms in their unit to try to figure out "Where's Waldo?" It usually only takes a few minutes before they see him peering out of the big scaffolding, but it truly brightens their day."

Read the full story from ABC News.
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