Michelle Kataneo and nurses from the post part floor at the Victoria General Hospital doled out gifts to children children staying at the hospital over Christmas. They collected more than 100 toys and $1,000 in gift cards. (Photos courtesy VIHA)

Michelle Kataneo and nurses from the post part floor at the Victoria General Hospital doled out gifts to children children staying at the hospital over Christmas. They collected more than 100 toys and $1,000 in gift cards. (Photos courtesy VIHA)

Nurses donate gifts to sick kids at Victoria General Hospital

Medical staff forego secret Santa to dole out more than 100 gifts children on pediatric floor

Nurses at the Victoria General Hospital scrapped gifts for each other, for gifts for their patients.

Staff of the post partum floor of VGH swapped their Secret Santa program for a toy drive, dressing up as Santa’s favourite reindeer and doling out the more than 100 toys and $1,000 in gift cards to sick children and families staying there Christmas Day.

“(The children) were so excited, there was one teen who was lying in her bed under the covers but not sleeping,” said organizer Michelle Kataneo. “We handed her gifts… and within two minutes, she came out dressed as an elf and said she wanted to help us out.”

Kataneo, a nurse at the hospital for 19 years, alongside half the other registered nurses working their floor Christmas Day, handed out gifts collected since mid December while the other half stayed back to care of the mothers and their newborns.

“It is such a great place to work, it is such a happy to place to work most of the time. I thought it would be nice to spread a little bit of that to another floor,” Kataneo said.

“I had friends show up at my house with bags of gifts, it was pretty awesome. I know we have an amazing community, it just reinforces how wonderful our community is.”

ALSO SEE: Santa visits Victoria General Hospital’s littlest patients

Donators dropped off gift certificates and bags of toys for two-and-a-half weeks leading up to Christmas to have enough toys for more than 20 youth and gift cards for families that would be spending the night there on Christmas.

She said many parents won’t even leave their children to go for a coffee unless they have a gift card, preferring to save money for their sick children.

“We all walked off the pediatric floor and thought this was the best Christmas ever, we weren’t spending it with family but we were spending it with work family,” Kataneo said. “There are people in there in the worst time of their lives with sick kids and to make it even a little bit better was pretty awesome.”


@arnoldlimphoto
arnold.lim@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sewer construction will mean limited access to West Shore Parkway from Sooke Road for the next week. (Courtesy of the City of Langford)
West Shore Parkway access limited from Sooke Road

Crews working on sewer construction for the next week

It’s time to upgrade Metchosin’s connectivity, some residents are saying. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)
Petition signals desire for Metchosin cellphone coverage

It’s crazy for a Victoria suburb to be a dead-cell zone, petition writer said

The Capital Regional District has issued a boil water advisory for the Wilderness Mountain Water Service Area in East Sooke. (Katja Just - Pixabay.com)
Boil water advisory issued in East Sooke

It’s better to boil and be safe than sorry you didn’t. The… Continue reading

Janitors at Uptown Shopping Centre voted to strike April 20, citing increased risk from the pandemic, minimum wage pay and no paid sick days. (Black Press Media file photo)
Janitors at Uptown Shopping Centre in Saanich vote to strike

Workers say they’re working in high-risk conditions with near minimum wage pay

Some Saanich firefighters have expressed concerns about first responders in the Island Health Region not being prioritized to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as an outbreak at a fire station would make service delivery a challenge. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Saanich firefighters not prioritized for COVID-19 vaccine despite working on frontlines

Saanich members express frustration, department calls on Island Health to take action

A lone traveler enters the Calgary Airport in Calgary, Alta., Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
VIDEO: Trudeau defends Canada’s travel restrictions as effective but open to doing more

Trudeau said quarantine hotels for international air travellers will continue until at least May 21

Canadian driver Paul Tracy pulls out of the pits during the morning session at the Molson Indy in Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, July 26, 2003 (CP/Richard Lam)
Vancouver is considering hosting a Formula E race using electric cars

The race would be part of a three-day event focused on climate and sustainability

Chart from the April 20 B.C. budget shows sharp dip in real estate sales early in the COVID-19 pandemic and the even steeper climb since late 2020. (B.C. government)
Hot B.C. housing market drives property transfer tax gains

B.C. budget boosts tobacco, sweet drinks, carbon taxes

President Joe Biden holds a virtual bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
U.S. to help Canada with more COVID-19 vaccine supply, Biden says

The U.S. has already provided Canada with about 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine

B.C.’s 2021 budget is trending in the right direction to support farmers, says the BC Fruit Growers’ Association. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
BC Fruit Growers’ Association gives thumbs up to provincial budget

BCFGA general manager said budgetary investments put farming industry on a good trajectory for recovery

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson leaves the assembly with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Paid sick leave for ‘hard-hit’ workers left out of provincial budget: BCGEU

‘For recovery to be equitable it requires supports for workers, not just business,’ says union president Laird Cronk

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, is taken into custody as his attorney, Eric Nelson, left, looks on, after the verdicts were read at Chauvin’s trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Court TV via AP, Pool
George Floyd’s death was ‘wake-up call’ about systemic racism: Trudeau

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all three charges against him

Most Read