June 3, 2017

Pediatric Heart Patient Gives Back to Kids Like Her

Briana Pastorino, Loma Linda University Health News

Codi Pelton is often making trips from her Desert Hot Springs home to Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital, in Loma Linda, California, United States, for various doctor appointments. Codi was born with a rare heart condition known as hypo plastic left heart syndrome. Her most recent visit to the Adventist-operated hospital, however, included a special delivery to the playroom on the cardiac unit.

The 11-year-old brought US $3,500 worth of games and toys for other patients like her to enjoy while they were being treated.

How’d a kid her age score all that loot?

Codi Pelton, 11, of Desert Hot Springs, California, United States, made a delivery of toys and games to the LLUCH cardiac unit on May 18. [Photo: Loma Linda University Health]

“I just asked people for money and they gave it to me,” the young philanthropist said.

It was also part of a school called “Change the World.” Pelton’s parents helped by setting up a GoFundMe page, but she did a lot on her own including selling hot dogs at school.

Pelton went shopping three times to buy all the toys and fulfilled a wish list that was provided to her by the hospital’s child life department.

She attracted quite the audience when she delivered the goodies to the cardiac unit on May 18.

“Look what difference one person makes,” said Registered Nurse Sharon Robie, nurse manager on the cardiac unit.

Pediatric critical care physician Shamel Abd-Allah just happened to be walking by when he saw the commotion and praised Pelton for her good work. “Your dedication is commendable,” he said.

LLU Children’s Hospital is well-known in the region and beyond. Its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is one of the largest and most advanced neonatal centers in the world, with 22,000 square feet dedicated to caring for some of the tiniest babies ever born. This includes a special area for infants who have undergone transplants and premature babies who need the aid of special machines to help them develop.

Overall, LLU Children’s Hospital provides care to 134,000 children a year, with more than 15,000 staying overnight. The institution has over 250 beds, just for kids.