Family Spreads Christmas Cheer at Hospital

Pediatric Stroke Patient Continues Recovery

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Family of stroke patient returns to serve nurses and fellow patients breakfast on Christmas. (Published Sunday, Dec 25, 2011)

    No one wants to spend Christmas in a hospital. But on this Christmas morning, one family made it a little merrier for the children who have no choice.

    "It's hard having a sick child and then being here during the holidays is even harder," said Mandy Bradford.

    The Bradfords know. Their 5-year-old daughter Ayanna -- "Ya Ya" -- spent six months of her life at Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth. So on behalf of the ANE Pediatric Stroke Foundation they founded, they cooked and served breakfast and gave gifts to patients, their families, and the nurses in the rehab unit.

    "Just knowing that eggs and bacon can make someone's day is a pretty good feeling," said Bradford. "It's about giving back and providing those that can't do what you do with what you can. And what we can do today is breakfast."

    It's certainly made Christmas special for Ya Ya's former hospital neighbor, 17-year-old Robby Mounce.

    "It felt just great, man. It felt so great. I mean, God has truly blessed me here," said Mounce.

    After "Ya Ya" suffered a stroke and went through several major operations, no one knew whether she would walk or talk again. But Sunday, she stomped her feet in her new, light-up tennis shoes. And her former nurses were happy to see her."Just to have her here and have the whole family here celebrating Christmas with us means a lot. She's doing incredible. She really has come a long way," said nurse Katie Huber.

    "Ya Ya" and her family will be back for hospital visits -- for treatments and for more Christmas mornings.

    "I just want them to have a Merry Christmas and I just want them to know that they're not alone," said Bradford.