Art Work Helps Patients And Benefits Neonatal Unit - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/3/04 - Longview

Art Work Helps Patients And Benefits Neonatal Unit

When a child is in the hospital it can be a confusing and scary time for them. But a special visitor at Good Shepherd hospital in Longview is making it a little easier.

She's a clown with an artistic flair. For kids she seems to be just the medicine they needed.

"Knock, knock, knock anybody home," asks Annette Childress as she enters a patient's room.

For the past four years Annette has dressed in her clown costume and taken her partner Ding-A-Ling to visit children at the hospital.

Once a week she helps kids draw a clown.

"I've worked with children for 35 years and I recently retired from teaching and I still want to stay close to children. I love children's art and I love just brightening the children's days. It brightens my day too," says Annette.

It seems to be working. 11 year old patient, Emily Mount loved her time with Annette. "I love to draw and I love to do art," says Emily.

The art work Emily is creating is a masterpiece. In fact, there are 14 finished products by other patients. Their paintings have been sold for $1000 a piece. That money goes towards the Neonatal Care unit.

With a little paint and a lot of love, Emily completed her painting.

Emily also got a balloon hat to adorn her head. It was an experience Emily says the other patients are sure to enjoy.

"Whenever you're really down and you're in the hospital you feel really bad and you want something to put a smile on your face and I think something really happy like the clown would definitely do that," said Emily.

With the help of a clown and her partner, Emily's time in the hospital was certainly a little easier.

The Kidz Art project has been going on for the past six months. So far 9 out of the 14 paintings have been sold. The paintings are available for purchase at Good Shepherd hospital in Longview.

Amy Tatum reporting. atatum@kltv.com

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