AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Kids love birthdays, and probably one of the last places they would like to be on that special day is in the hospital, but that’s when a special task force that BSA hospital jumps into action.
“Well, we started it back in July,” said BSA Nutrition Manager Estella Barker. “We call it ‘code balloon’ when we have a code balloon we get with the parents, and we get their permission, and we’re able to do a birthday for them because they’re in the hospital on their birthday to make it unique for them. So we find out the theme that they like, whether it be like for Barbie or a special team that they want.”
The team works together, coming up with ideas based on what the child likes.
“We work together as a team to find out what the child likes and then put together ideas to create the cake," said Lyn Cowan, a baker for BSA.
A variety of characters and designs are made here at BSA to ensure each child has a unique experience for their birthday while they stay at BSA.
“So far, we’ve done a Barbie cake which was new for me, and I got to learn from one of my co-workers," said Lindsey Almaraz, a baker at BSA. "And then also, they did a Paw Patrol, which was nice with different colors and different variations on that. And then we also did a football cake.”
The baking team loves to get on board with the excitement and challenge of designing just the right birthday cake.
“It’s kind of sad things here, you know, to be here on your birthday. So I think it was a good idea to come to us to see if there was anything special we could do," said Almaraz.
Emma Stewart, the mother of a birthday patient, told me how they were blessed by the love and compassion extended during her daughter's code balloon.
“It was great because at first, I thought it was going to be terrible because nobody wants to be here on your birthday. That extra, extra mile to make her birthday special was great,” said Stewart, recalling the excitement of her child when the cake was brought in. "She was so excited her face lit up, and they brought balloons to, as well. They just asked what flavor she’d like and what colors she likes, so they put all her colors on, and she liked it, and they decorated very well.”
Despite the stigma associated with hospital food, these cakes are delicious!
“It was just as good!” said Stewart. “Yeah, that’s one thing you have to worry about like.... hospital food, but the cake was perfect.”
While the kid’s birthdays are certainly brightened by the festive cakes, the staff also enjoys somewhat of a lift.
“It’s great for the kids to be happy,” said Lyn Cowan.
“Just to hear feedback from them saying that they really loved it, and then we get some sense of joy and accomplishment that we did something positive," said Almaraz.
“It’s a ton of fun, and we enjoy doing it,"said Barker.
A specialized team called into action to make birthdays awesome, even when they’re in the hospital, now that’s some good news.