MedWatch Today: Reptiles and friends celebrate five-year old boy’s birthday in hospital

Med Watch Today

Five-year old Zander Wood unfortunately didn’t have what most would call a typical fifth birthday party. The young boy is recovering at the Leon S. Peters Burn Center at Community Regional after being accidentally electrocuted in late May. But his special day was not overlooked. The staff at the burn center put together a big surprise for Zander, filled with gifts and very special guests.

On this day, Zander got to forget about his burn injuries, and instead, focus on just being a kid. No child wants to spend their birthday in the hospital, but Zander was not disappointed, thanks to a few slithering new friends.

Karen Wood is Zander’s mother. She said, “It was a big surprise for him and he was so excited, and he loved it so much, he loves animals and he loves reptiles and anything that moves and crawls.”

It was wonderful to see her son smile again, said Karen. Zander was accidentally electrocuted at their home in Oakhurst on Memorial Day.

“He had severe, deep burns and so we want him to keep moving his fingers the most that we can and to keep not to be able to forget how to use them,” said Karen.

Shana Henry is a registered nurse and injury prevention specialist at the burn center. She said when they learned about Zander’s love for animals and reptiles, they knew they had to throw him a birthday party to remember.

She said, “We were able to provide a break from that normal mundane hospital life of dressing changes and things that can kinda be uncomfortable sometimes to be able to give them a break and allow them to just take a minute and enjoy and celebrate with people that he loves.”

With the help of the burn center’s child life specialist, the team reached out to Ron Guill of Reptile Ron Animal Presentations. Ron donated his time and brought all kinds of friends to wish Zander a happy birthday. The look on Zander’s face was just priceless.

Ron commented, “It is such a wonderful thing and to see the smile on their faces and them being outside with everything that’s going on come outside and enjoy an animal show an animal program and be involved and actually see and touch the animals and to see their faces light up with the animals makes our faces light up.”

The Madera County Sheriff’s Office even got in on the fun, delivering gifts to the young boy. Karen said no words can describe the gratitude she has to those who made her son feel special during this difficult time.

“He started off the day in surgery, so it was a really rough morning we didn’t know if we’d make it down here and so I’m really thankful for everybody’s support,” said Karen.

Shana said it wasn’t even a thought to organize something special for Zander. Just one of the ways she and her staff go above and beyond for their patients.

“I think it’s just another testament to the amazing comprehensive care that we give here at the Leon S. Peters Burn Center with Community Medical Centers,” ended Shana.

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