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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Southern California

Non-Profit Brightens Decor and Spirits at Children's Hospital

Patients at CHLA have their rooms decorated to match their individual tastes.

Patients at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles got a special surprise today when their rooms were “decked out” by the non-profit organization “Dec My Room.”

The organization began in 2007 when its founder, Susan Plank, was motivated by her daughter to decorate a family friend’s room while they were having a bone marrow transplant.

“When we saw the look on his face,” Plank said as she looked at her daughter, “and we said we’ve got to make this for every child who is in the hospital for a long stay.”

They started at the Texas Children’s hospital in Houston and have made their way to Boston, now L.A.

Two-year-old Chloe has her hospital room decorated. (Irene Byon/ ATVN)
Two-year-old Chloe has her hospital room decorated. (Irene Byon/ ATVN)
 Eleven-year-old Josie Hull helped out with decorating the rooms Thursday.

The event was special for her because she used to be a patient at the hospital when she had a surgery to separate her from her conjoined twin back in 2003.

“They have toys and I have toys so that makes me happy,” Josie said.

One of the children who had their room decorated was two-year-old Chloe Segura, a car accident victim. She had her room decorated with a “Hello Kitty” theme.  

“It was nice before and comfortable, but now it’s a baby’s room. It’s so amazing and it lifts the spirits," Chloe’s mother, Valerie Gutierrez, said. "She’s so happy.”

Eight-year-old leukemia patient Casey Fisher had his room decorated with a “monster truck” theme.

“It’s an awesome room,” he said.

His father, Allen Fisher, says the decorations are a great way to lift Casey’s spirits.

“I think it’s phenomenal,” he said, “We’ve been looking for any and everything to give him inspiration to lift his spirits and get him out of being sick.”

Hospital workers support the work “Dec My Room” is doing. Mark Urata, Chief of Plastic and Facial Surgery at CHLA, said the normal hospital room “just looks mechanical and scary to a child.” But, the decorated rooms “embrace the children when they walk into the room.”

Urata says organizations like this are very helpful for their patients.

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