An orthopedic technician at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles, has discovered a creative way of putting smiles on the faces of children who are usually stressed and scared after fracturing a bone.
Luis Ruiz has made getting a cast very colorful and fun at the children’s hospital, by customizing casts for young patients with drawings of their favorite cartoon characters, sports teams and more.
According to Ruiz, it all started ten years ago, when a little boy asked him to draw a happy face on his cast. Though Ruiz was a bit ambivalent, he eventually agreed to do the painting and the boy was very pleased with the results:
“It lit him up!” Ruiz remembers.
That moment of joy inspired the orthopedic technician to offer cast drawings to all the kids who came into the hospital with broken bones.
A moment that stands out to Ruiz from his decade of decorating casts was when he met a young girl with cancer who wanted a Wonder Woman emblem drawn on her cast.
“It made her very happy to go around with that [drawing], because she got a lot of compliments on it,” Ruiz shares.
These moments of joy matter most to Ruiz, who sees children in the hospital get asked serious questions about their health. His cast drawings often give kids in the hospital something fun to talk about and bring them “a joyful moment instead of having to explain what happened to them.”