The playroom at Roseville’s Women and Children’s Center has been completely transformed into a magical Harry Potter experience, to the delight of pediatric patients and their families, as well as physicians and staff.
Upon entering the space, young witches and wizards step onto Platform 9 ¾, then stroll through the grounds of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which includes a Potions classroom, Great Hall, and the Chamber of Secrets.
Roseville Child Life Specialist Traci Aoki-Tan dreamed up the idea for converting the playroom into a Hogwarts maze and recruited Harry Potter superfans among the pediatric staff to bring the idea to fruition.
“With so many other activities canceled over the past year and a half, we really needed something to bring joy to our patients, their families, and each other,” said Aoki-Tan.
“I didn’t expect it to be this big; it was really creative! My favorite part was definitely the Great Hall,” said Austin Mitchell, a 13-year-old Roseville pediatric patient. “It’s been a really tough year, and this really made me happy.”
Open to patients and their families through October 31
Aoki-Tan was joined by a core group of nurses, medical social workers, carpenters, painters, and volunteers who helped bring the magical experience to pediatric patients. The team spent countless hours over the past month sourcing and creating items to use in the room. Once word got out about their plans, physicians, staff, family, and friends began reaching out to lend items from their personal collections, such as wands, swords, and cloaks.
The maze is open for hospitalized pediatric patients to visit from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily through October 31. Outpatient pediatric specialty and pediatric oncology patients, and staff, have also been invited to tour the maze during dedicated times. To date, more than 300 patients and some family members have visited, and many have made multiple visits, using FaceTime to share the experience with family members who cannot visit in person.
“It was really cool; I loved the decorations, especially Hedwig and the Sorting Hat,” said 17-year-old Ashley Tapparo, another Roseville pediatric patient. “I just want to say thank you to all the staff and nurses who put this together.”
Children of staff members are not permitted at this time. But the team is considering making this an annual tradition and hope to be able to allow more visitors when COVID-19 restrictions are no longer in place.
“We all need a little magic right now,” says Aoki-Tan. “This experience helps each patient that goes through forget — even for a moment — about being in the hospital, their illness, and what is going on outside these hospital walls.”
Thank you to the Kaiser Permanente witches and wizards who worked tirelessly to bring a little magic into the lives of pediatric patients:
- Traci Aoki-Tan, child life specialist
- Jocelyn Lorenzo, RN
- Michelle Juravcic-Cole, MSW
- Nancy Glatt, pediatric volunteer
- David Torrao, painter
- Jason Sharrah, carpenter
- Rafael Mireles, carpenter
- Britton Taylor, taper