Stars on the ceiling bring comfort to young hospital patients

CHUI Starlight room

“Looking at the stars tells me, ‘Don’t worry,’” says oncology patient Jose Moreno (right), with donor Danielle McLaughin (left) and UI Health child-life intern Abigail Dykema. Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin/UIC Photo Services


Even an adult with a serious illness can find painful medical procedures — spinal taps, IV placements, blood draws — hard to tolerate. For a child, these procedures may be especially frightening and difficult.

Now there’s a special place to ease the discomfort for young patients of Children’s Hospital of Illinois: a treatment room with the tropics on the walls and stars on the ceiling.


Jose Moreno

“The room reminds me that everything isn’t terrible,” Jose Moreno says. Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin/UIC Photo Services

For 10-year-old Jose Moreno, an oncology patient, the room makes a real difference.

“The times I’ve been in it, the room reminds me that everything isn’t terrible. Looking at the stars tells me, ‘Don’t worry,’” he said.

The Moceri Family Foundation, working through Starlight Children’s Foundation, donated more than $45,000 to renovate and transform the treatment room on the fifth floor of UI Hospital.

The Moceri foundation was established in 2013 to support organizations benefiting women, children, education and those who are homeless and hungry. Family members Dan and Sharon Moceri and their daughter, Danielle McLaughin, attended the Oct. 14 ribbon cutting.

“This is overwhelming, to be able to help kids,” said Dan Moceri. “Our whole mission is to help people like you help people.”

The Starlight Children’s Foundation funds critical needs requested by more than 600 hospitals, specialty clinics and camps, respite houses and hospices in the United States and Puerto Rico that support more than 27 million pediatric visits every year.




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