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Hospital's Photo Series Reminds Us of the Real Meaning of Thanksgiving


These people give a whole new meaning to the word “thankful.”

In the days leading up to Thanksgiving this year, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta asked its patients about the things they’re most thankful for. Their answers ranged from simple things, like snuggles with the hospital therapy dog, to monumental things, like a new heart or the ability to be discharged. Not a single one of them mentioned material items like toys, clothes or fancy technological devices.

Their answers moved us and reminded us of all we have a lot to be thankful for this year.

Check out their answers below: 

Gabe, admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, expressed gratitude for the ability to leave his bed and visit the family library.
Gabe, admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, expressed gratitude for the ability to leave his bed and visit the family library.
Megan spent 150 days in the hospital but found a new friend in Izzy the therapy dog.
Megan spent 150 days in the hospital but found a new friend in Izzy the therapy dog.
Laura AnnaBeth is her parents' first child and she is recovering from heart surgery. She’ll spend her first Thanksgiving with her family in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.Laura AnnaBeth is her parents' first child and she is recovering from heart surgery. She’ll spend her first Thanksgiving with her family in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.
Laura AnnaBeth is her parents’ first child and she is recovering from heart surgery. She’ll spend her first Thanksgiving with her family in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.
Justin, who survived being hit by a bus last month, wrote down this answer without a moment’s hesitation.
Justin, who survived being hit by a bus last month, wrote down this answer without a moment’s hesitation.

patient holds sign saying "brother, nurses, friends."

Taylor underwent heart transplant surgery on her 16th birthday. Her home is hundreds of miles away in Mississippi, so her family will celebrate Thanksgiving from the Cardiac Stepdown Unit this Thanksgiving.
Taylor underwent heart transplant surgery on her 16th birthday. Her home is hundreds of miles away in Mississippi, so her family will celebrate Thanksgiving from the Cardiac Stepdown Unit this Thanksgiving.
Just two days after surgery, Gabrielle’s family cheered as she left the hospital in her sparkly pajamas.
Just two days after surgery, Gabrielle’s family cheered as she left the hospital in her sparkly pajamas.
Taryn spent a week in the hospital getting treatment for a perforated appendix. She wanted to give thanks to her family and friends for filling her room with pick-me-ups, including sparkly the stuffed unicorn.
Taryn spent a week in the hospital getting treatment for a perforated appendix. She wanted to give thanks to her family and friends for filling her room with pick-me-ups, including sparkly the stuffed unicorn.
Baby Charlotte cannot see or hear. When she grows bigger and stronger, she will undergo cochlear implant surgery that will help her hear her mom’s voice for the first time.Baby Charlotte cannot see or hear. When she grows bigger and stronger, she will undergo cochlear implant surgery that will help her hear her mom’s voice for the first time.
Baby Charlotte cannot see or hear. When she grows bigger and stronger, she will undergo cochlear implant surgery that will help her hear her mom’s voice for the first time.
Other big brothers might complain about their little brothers, but not Jacoby. Reuniting with his “very sweet” baby brother is the first thing he wants to do when he gets home.
Other big brothers might complain about their little brothers, but not Jacoby. Reuniting with his “very sweet” baby brother is the first thing he wants to do when he gets home.
Maylee was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in September. She also wanted to note that she is thankful for kitty cats and puppies.
Maylee was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in September. She also wanted to note that she is thankful for kitty cats and puppies.

Visit the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta blog for more information.