It all started on Friday, Jan. 3, with a little bit of a headache and a slight sore throat. Then, around 10:30 am, Saturday morning, after a couple hours of violent  vomiting and a temperature measured at 104, we ended up in the Owensboro Hospital emergency room. What happened after that was so scary for him and a parents nightmare.

Every time something like this happens, it weakens him and he feels depressed. Though all of this, it was hard for him to find something to smile about. Until we went for a walk around the pediatric unit and saw this at the end of one of the halls.

We both looked at each other, then walked over to the box. There, we saw dozens of different toys, all with this sticker on the back.

He looked through the toys and said, "Mom, these are some of the toys you helped collect at the toy drive." I stood there teary eyed as I thought of all of the children I had seen being wheeled around the unit that week. I felt connected to them and their worried parents. We had passed each other in the hallway in tears. We were a part of a club we didn't want to be in.

As Hayden ruffled through the box of toys, he pulled out a toy figurine. He held it up, looked at me and smiled.

Thank you, 911 Gives Hope Toy Drive, for helping my son and other kids find a reason to smile when life hurts. What you did for my son and countless other kids in our community is priceless.

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