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Austin hospital helping parents find perfect Christmas gifts for their sick kids

The staff at Dell Children's Medical Center in Austin is helping parents find the perfect gift for their sick kids.

AUSTIN — The holidays can be a hectic time of year, especially when you want to find the perfect gift for your kids.

So what do you do if your child is in the hospital, and your focus is their health, not their gift?

The staff at Dell Children’s Medical Center is hoping to help.

BJ and Melissa Burrow went Christmas shopping Thursday. They were looking for the perfect gift for their 6-year-old son.

Credit: Flores, Rebecca

But the selection of more than 1,500 toys, puzzles, books and stuffed animals was in a unique location - Dell Children's Medical Center.

Credit: Flores, Rebecca

"You want to give them a great Christmas, and this is, is unbelievable,” said Melissa Burrow.

The couple’s son is in the hospital, so doctors can figure out why he has migraines and stomach issues.

As parents, they haven't left his side.

"He's been sick for a little while and we haven't really gotten to do a whole lot, which makes it so it was just a blessing,” said BJ.

Credit: Flores, Rebecca

The staff at Dell Children’s Medical Center puts on the blessing, with help from donors throughout the community, including HEB and Operation Blue Santa.

Kim Stephens is the child life manager at the hospital.

"It really was important to us to be able to have families come down and do the shopping just like they would be able to do at home and give them that opportunity,” said Stephens.


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She came up with the idea this 2018 holiday season.

"We know that it's really hard when you have a child in the hospital. You don't get to do all the normal shopping, and things the hustle bustle, the holidays, so we wanted to bring that here,” said Stephens.

For one minute, these parents can focus on the typical holiday stress, not on their son's health.

"It's just so much pressure taken off, and we're just able to concentrate on him right now,” said Melissa Burrow.

That's just the gift they need this year.

Hospital staff will use whatever toys are left over from this event to surprise patients on their birthday throughout the year.

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