Washington, DC — Former U.S. President Barack Obama surprised young patients at Children’s National Hospital in Northwest Washington on Wednesday. He visited the kids and delivered some toys as presents.
“We had a chance to talk to some of the wonderful kids and their families at a time that is obviously tough to folks,” Obama said. “As a dad of two girls, I can only imagine in that situation to have nurses and staff and doctors and people who are caring for them and looking after them and listening to them and just there for them and holding their hand, that is the most important thing there is.
“What a great reminder of what the holiday spirit is supposed to be all about.”
Obama paid a visit to some patients and gave presents such as jigsaw puzzles, toy cars, Hot Wheels sets, glittery nail polish, and other goodies. He also gave a piece of advice to other patients, such as a 12-year-old patient who will enter high school next year, and said, “Even the cool kids don’t have it all figured out.”
“I know they will be talking about it for years to come,” said Kurt Newman, chief executive and president of Children’s National Health System. “At such a busy time of year, when no one wants to be in the hospital, his natural warmth lifted the spirits of those kids, their parents and of each staff member he met along the way.”
After his one hour and a half visit, Obama thanked the hospital staff for their hard work even on the holidays. He also recorded a video message that would be played on the hospital’s internal TV system for those that he wasn’t able to visit.
In a video posted by the hospital, a delighted crowd of the staff, doctors, and nurses cheered for Obama and thanked him for the surprise visit.