OSSINING, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A first grader from New York, who spent Christmas in the hospital two years ago, is making sure children in the same situation this year have something to smile about. And, as WCBS-TV’s Alice Gainer reported Monday, there’s a way you can help, too.
Six-year-old Stella spent Christmas 2018 in the hospital and described the feeling as, “very sad.” A severe case of tonsillitis landed Stella at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Westchester. It was one of many hospital stops that year.
“Stella started losing the ability to walk. Her legs started to lose power. That started our journey that year of really going in and out of a lot of hospitals throughout the northeast,” said Jamie Fosgate, her dad.
But it was Stella’s Christmas stay that inspired her to do something very special. “She was walking around the hallways and seeing all the kids who were in their beds, and everything else, that didn’t have toys, and it really struck a chord with her,” Fosgate said.
“I was in the hospital. I heard how much they were in pain and I just thought when I was healthy again, I decided to save up my money for kids in the hospital,” Stella said.
The first grader at Saint Augustine is doing much better these days. “Stella is 100 percent healthy now. We are very thankful. They think it was a virus that impacted her muscle system,” said Jill Frankenfield, her mom.
Stella made good on her promise. She saved all of her own money from holidays and chores ($200!) and bought toys last year for the kids at the hospital. This year, she did it again.
A Facebook post got the word out and helped them buy about $3,000 worth of toys.
“Had friends, classmates, family, a lot of support, even from strangers, came out to support us,” said Jill.
“Barbie Dolls, Paw Patrol, American Girl Doll stuff,” Stella said.
Stella and her family know first hand how much a toy can help take your mind off a hospital procedure. Clearly on Santa’s nice list, what is Stella asking for?
“For all the kids having smiles on their faces when they get the toys,” she said.